Nike Karlsson, IKEA of Sweden

Being a part of Ung Svensk Form every year isn’t just about giving back. The truth is – we get a lot out of it.

Design at IKEA incorporates two fundamental things. First, we always work from real insights about what people want and need in their lives at home. This is the only way we know to design things that will make a difference for people. To get these insights, we have to listen.

We participate in Ung Svensk Form because we’re curious about what these young designers have to say. What are their interests, and why have they made what they’ve made? What do they wish for, and what do they wish could be different? And what does all of this say about how needs are changing and how peoples’ lives are changing?

We see a clear theme among many of this year’s designers: a focus on the enormity of the new challenges we’re facing today. Climate change, inequality, political polarization – these are big challenges. Serious challenges.

But from our own history, we know that big challenges can lead to amazing innovations. We believe that design is more than just creating great looking products. It’s a great tool for challenging norms, exploring new possibilities and improving things. So, when we see this year’s designers working with new materials, rethinking existing ones, and shifting peoples’ perspectives on what’s “cool” and what’s not – we get a lot of energy.

Especially when we consider the other fundamental idea of design at IKEA – that it should be for the many. Because isn’t it exciting to think about how, by making innovative solutions accessible to as many people as possible, what we could influence and change, together?

Nike Karlsson, Senior Designer IKEA of Sweden