“At home” isn’t just a place. It’s a feeling. Like being in the most comfortable space in the universe. So for us, understanding people’s life at home is the most natural place to start. Every year, we visit homes all around the world to find out what people dream about. We then pair their needs with the abilities of our suppliers to create new solutions that, hopefully, will make everyday life a little better.
Children are the most important people in the world. That’s why we always have their perspective at heart, in all things we do. We want it to be easy to create a home that’s practical and playful, safe and imaginative – allowing for lots of together time (and for playing astronaut on one’s own).
Over the years we’ve learned a lot about all good that comes out of playing, for kids and grown-ups alike. Play stimulates creativity and makes us less stressed, and it’s an inherent, necessary part of growing up. Since we also know that home is the most important playground, we’ve made it our mission to make every kid’s personal space as playful as themselves. And it doesn’t matter if it’s their own room or a corner of the lounge.
The Play Report 2017 reveals five key motivators of why we play, as well as seven emerging play trends. In our research, we’ve found that play is unanimously seen to be a power for good, but we have also found that people around the world believe play is undervalued in modern day life.
With a license to chill
When it comes to their own space, what children dream of and what their parents feel they need aren’t necessarily the same. That’s one of the reasons why our work with the new SLÄKT range, furniture designed for kids aged 8 and up, started out with a global survey into what children from 8 to 12 years old really want from their space. The answer proved to be nearly the same all over the world; kids want a place to relax and retreat, with potential for hanging out with friends while still being close to their parents. The chill out-part isn’t surprising, really. Even though it might not always seem like it when they are preoccupied with one screen or the other, the pre-teens are hectic years – on the inside as well as on the outside.
Furniture for change
With these findings behind us we continued the development process – aiming for a result that the kids would love (and one that would appeal to the parents too of course). The outcome, a range that includes a bed and furniture for storing, chilling and hanging out, can be adapted to different needs and so is great to interact with.
Beating the battles
Our homes are steeped in meaning and personal identity. When we live with people with different needs, tastes and expectations, it’s no wonder we can find ourselves endlessly at battle. In fact, we have found five common battles that unite us all. This year, we connected with a group of people who live in unusual or creative locations – we call them Home Pioneers. They share a way of thinking that can inspire all of us to make the changes we need. One thing’s for sure: the more we talk about how we feel at home, the more we can all beat the battles.
At IKEA, the safety of our customers is always number one, not least when it comes to the most important people on the planet – children! In our view, the best starting point when designing products that are, and feel, safe, is to find out as much as possible about how they will be used in the real world. Therefore we aim to have a world-class level of knowledge on children, their development and needs. And of course all our children products have been tested and tested again to make sure they are 100% safe
Many years ago, we removed the plastic eyes on all our soft toys and replaced them with embroidered ones, in one go making the toys safer and more characteristic. SAGOSKATT soft toys are the cuddly proof of toys with character. They are a result of the yearly IKEA soft toy drawing competition, that this time had over 70 000 entries from children across the globe. Ten of the contributions were turned into real soft toys. A beaky ninja, a happy rainbow cloud, a unicorn dog and a sharp-toothed spider are among the never before seen, fantastic creatures.
The new soft toys are part of the global IKEA Good Cause Campaign “Let’s play for change” running in all stores during fall 2017, where IKEA aims to highlight the benefits of play for all.