The Man Who Furnished the World
This week we learned of the death of IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad at age 91. Kamprad pioneered flat-pack furniture and engendered worldwide mass production and distribution systems. As a billionaire he was known for his frugality and down to earth work ethic. Today the company employs over 140,000 people across 50 countries.
IKEA is not normally a brand that we associate with fine woodworking, however this brand has certainly revolutionised the making and supply of furniture and homewares on a mass global scale. The furniture produced was affordable but with a designer look. As an innovation it was and still is retailed in styled settings in stores that for some have become destination stops in their own right.
Tellus chairs, 1950s
The brand has copped a lot of flack over the years for quality and assembly issues, however a number of pieces have become sought-after collectibles. You can read about some of the most sought after designs on the website of another Swedish giant, Barnebys auction search engine.
Åke armchair, 1950s