The legacy of IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad
Kamprad passed away Jan. 27 at age 91
Jan 29, 2018
Over the weekend, I was reading a book on the Swedish philosophy of lagom, a way of life that emphasizes balance, or what’s just enough or just right. Part of that lifestyle is choosing eco functionalism in design, best represented by the world-renowned Swedish furniture brand IKEA.
Many love IKEA for its minimalist yet affordable furniture, but there’s more to it than that. At the core, the brand also emphasizes quality. In fact, Linnea Dunne, author of Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living quotes IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad: “To design a desk which may cost £1,000 is easy for a furniture designer, but to design a functional and good desk which shall cost only £50 can only be done by the very best.”
Truly, Kamprad built his empire on low-cost, assemble-yourself furniture, but it was in no way advocating for throw-away culture. Because the designs of IKEA’s furniture were mostly simple, it was meant to withstand constantly changing trends. Kamprad also believed in sustainability (seen in the company’s recycling and other sustainability initiatives). “Waste of resources is a mortal sin at IKEA,” he is believed to have said.
Kamprad passed away at his home in Sweden last Jan. 27, at the age of 91. But more than just his billion-dollar furniture business, hopefully, it’s his drive to deliver quality without sacrificing cost and resources that we remember.
Photos courtesy of IKEA.