How we co-create

From the beginning, IKEA has set out to create a better everyday life for the many people. Today, we invite everyone to join us. After all, we are all experts in our own life at home and when we work together we can find the best solutions.

“The way we involve people is different than most companies,” says Johan. “We engage them at the problem level.”

Read more in ‘The power of putting people first’

How it works

Our product design development teams share projects they’re working on, everything from the big questions about what our future life at home will look like, tosmall improvements on some of our most-loved products.

There are three core areas to IKEA co-creation, some projects will include all three, others one or two, depending on the project.

1. Exploring life at home

When developing a new product, or improving an old one, it helps to understand the emotional and functional needs around problems we want to solve. We do this by exploring life at home today. Some of the different ways we might invite you to get involved at this stage are:

  • surveys or polls, asking you about a specific area of your home or daily life
  • posting photos of the problem in your home and describing how things work/don’t work for you
  • adding your workarounds, hacks, or ideas for better ways of doing things

2. Ideas & prototypes

From insights and understanding of life at home, our product design development teams begin sketching ideas. Later, these form concepts using 3D renders or small-scale models, finally becoming full-size prototypes.

3. Voting & feedback

Getting to the right solution takes a lot of iteration. Our product design development teams share their ideas as they’re being developed, sometimes sketches or 3D renders, and sometimes models or prototypes. By voting and adding your thoughts, we can see what still needs work and which ideas you think would best solve the problem.

Products and solutions that work for the many

The end goal for any IKEA product is to improve as many lives as possible, in small or large ways. We do that through an approach we call democratic design, which comes from the IKEA perspective that everyone has the right to a better everyday life.

Democratic design makes sure we consider five key elements when developing new products: low price, quality, sustainability, form, and function.

By involving people in the development of new products, co-creation helps our teams to understand what’s really important and create solutions that suit lives and homes around the world, truly good for the many.

See what we’re working on and join in!

We work on many different co-creation projects throughout the year, many of them are open to everyone while some may be open only to people we really want to hear from. For example, if we’re working on a baby product, it makes sense to talk to new parents living closest to that reality.

Take a look at the current co-creation activities or catch up on recent projects to see how insights from life at home become ideas and prototypes for future IKEA products.

Find a co-creation activity to join

Go to project updates

“It’s always good to start with sketches and then go to some type of three-dimensional model because you go from something visual to something physical.”

Read more in ‘Learning by doing’