After creating the built-ins for Space10, Ikea's experimental design lab, architecture firm Spacon & X still needed to source some furniture. They had the brilliant idea of asking Maaike Fransen, a Dutch artist and Eindhoven grad known for her incorporation of found objects into her work, to create some "extreme Ikea hacks" based on what's already inside your typical Ikea store.
Fransen is candid about her first attempt--involving inflatable balls sold in the Children's department--not quite working out: "I bought as many [of the balls] as I could find in IKEA Amsterdam, blew them all up and filled a whole room," she explains. "It looked cool, but was not really appealing to lay down on, because of the rubber feeling."
Undeterred, she raided Ikea's Transport/Tools department for black strapping, bound the balls together into a grid, and filled the gaps with plush soccer balls. Covering the surface with a white blanket from the Bedding section resulted in a "soft, bubbly Himalayan landscape," or a "pool you can sink into."
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For the second hack, Fransen subverted the rules a bit: Her mandate was to use existing items found in Ikea, but no one said those items had to be for sale. Thus she stole some of the shopping carts—"it was an impulsive act," she says—and rigged them up into a "Workstation for lazy people:"
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The carts are designed to combine solo work with relaxation and the ability to move around the room. Each cart has a light attached, itself a hack made by combining an IKEA mirror, wooden table-ring, plastic storage bowl and a little touch-light. You just have to hit it hard. The dark pink and red pillow-rolls in the carts are made by sewing together eight IKEA towels and filling the last one with an IKEA pillow. The green and gray tables are made of two IKEA Lack tables joined together with an IKEA shelf.
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"I have a weird mind," Fransen admits. "I'm also often a bit surprised at what comes out of it."
Meanwhile, I wonder if Ikea will begin selling those carts.