March 17, 2017
IKEA Redesigns the Way You Assemble Your Furniture
This new wedge dowel contraption will simplify the love-hate relationship you have with your furniture. I know it will simplify mine. The thought of moving anything with my dainty fawn arms makes my back ache and my head hurt. It’s only been two months since the shelves scrapped the beautiful …
This new wedge dowel contraption will simplify the love-hate relationship you have with your furniture. I know it will simplify mine. The thought of moving anything with my dainty fawn arms makes my back ache and my head hurt. It’s only been two months since the shelves scrapped the beautiful wooden floor, and our table, that I swear weighed 10 tons, dented the stairs we lugged up. Ironically, the one piece of furniture that most people hate moving, the bed frame, was the easiest to manage. Why? Because we could put it together and take it apart in less than 20 minutes. We didn’t have the luxury to do that with our other furniture pieces. Thankfully, now we can all avoid these nuisances with a redesign of the dowel (wedge dowel) by the Swedish furniture powerhouse IKEA.
Most people love and hate their furniture. They’re beautiful, but a headache to move around. IKEA, a household favorite, wanted to change two things: Make constructing furniture an enjoyable experience and remove unattractive machine-made visual fittings. In 2013, three different engineers from Almhult, Sweden and Lubawa, Poland collaborated with IKEA to develop a wedge dowel prototype that has ridges that enables it to snap in place. On IKEA’s film of the conception of the wedge dowel, one engineer of the prototype, Goran Sjostedt, discussed their process:
“What’s unique about this is that no tools are needed to assemble it once it’s done. You attach the leg directly to the table top. A lot of it comes down to experimenting. You can make the angle more acute and more obtuse. We make maybe 10, 15, or 20 of these to find out which one is best. It’s a development process.”
This modern design on the dowel won IKEA the prestigious Red Dot Award in 2016, which quickly became the center of attention in the furniture world. Do you want to try it out? “I actually put together a table which used to take me 24 minutes to assemble but took me three minutes to click together,” Ikea CEO Jesper Brodin told Dezeen. Here are some products that use the wedge dowel.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy this story about how creative geniuses spend their time by Betty Garcia.