method in the madness

February 4, 2008

ingvar kamprad.jpgWhich of you has never experienced the madness that can be IKEA? In the Netherlands it reached such heights on three separate occasions last year. Cars desperately trying to get into the already jam-packed IKEA carpark in Delft caused tailbacks not only on the access road, but also the highway exit, and finally on the highway itself. I’d like to have seen for myself just how many people were inside and out before the furniture giant decided to close its doors before riots broke out.

I’m sure Ingvar never meant for all of this to happen though. Today I learnt there is in fact careful method in the names of all the IKEA products. As he is dyslexic, he found that giving the products proper names and words made them easier to identify. Hence, according to today’s Guardian:

‘Sofas, coffee tables, bookshelves, media storage and doorknobs are named after places in Sweden (Klippan, Malmö); beds, wardrobes and hall furniture after places in Norway; carpets after places in Denmark and dining tables and chairs after places in Finland. Bookcases are mainly occupations (Bonde, peasant farmer; Styrman, helmsman). Bathroom stuff is named after lakes and rivers.

Kitchens are generally grammatical terms, and kitchen utensils are spices, herbs, fish, fruits, berries, or functional words such as Skarpt (it means sharp, and it’s a knife). Chairs and desks are Swedish men’s names (Roger, Joel); materials and curtains are women’s names. Children’s items are mammals, birds and adjectives (Ekorre is a set of children’s toy balls; it means squirrel).’

So, now you think you are IKEA-hot? Go play the IKEA game! And tell me your score. Mine was a fabulous 2 and then 3 out of 10, pretty shocking considering my many visits. Clearly space for improvement, if not more furniture…

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2 Responses to “method in the madness”

  1. Ryan Koesuma Says:

    Me and my father always love to go to the IKEA store in Singapore, too bad we couldn’t buy anything but the small stuff due to transportation means

  2. Christine Says:

    I only scored a two as well… Maybe we should have a catalog study session!

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