IKEA hardware hacking
IKEA furniture hacking has always been an intriguing topic to me. Thinking that people would use IKEA artifacts and repurpose them to create original and personalized objects is strikingly interesting and important. I was therefore curious to read more about how people would treat this hardware as raw material for creative project in this CHI 2009 paper called "Learning from IKEA Hacking: “Iʼm Not One to Decoupage a Tabletop and Call It a Day" by Daniela Rosner and Jonathan Bean. The article describes the motivations for IKEA hacking and analyses the implication of information technology for DIY practices. Some excerpts I found interesting:
"the actual act of it is pretty satisfying too—the measuring, the cutting… there is definitely an added dimension of satisfaction if there is no template.” Another participant suggested he views the creative work involved with IKEA hacking as distinct from the challenges of his job. “I'm not a ‘real’ builder, I'm a web designer,” he reported. This sense of haptic satisfaction (...) IKEA hacking is partially an appropriation of the cultural meaning of IKEA. One participant said that IKEA had “no style,” explaining when pressed that “there's style but style is lost when too many people buy the same brand,” and others seem to like the ironic idea of using IKEA products in unintended ways. (...) IKEA hackers provide fascinating insights into the quickly shrinking division between the online world of bits and the material world of everyday stuff. We found that people are using ideas based in online culture to transform physical artifacts in three ways. First, we saw the application of metaphors and procedures associated with the online world to the material world: furniture can be “hacked,” the environment can be “programmed.” Second, we saw people using online tools to facilitate manipulations of material artifacts; we saw how DIY culture is moving the workshop from the garage to the web forum. Third, we noted a changing sense of creativity and identity. How can we support new models of collaborative design and design tools that incorporate creative thinking and tinkering? IKEA hacking points to the need for a more critical engagement with DIY culture and further reflection on the impact of online communities on identity and creativity"
Why do I blog this? a fascinating example of bricolage/DIY/tinkering practice that emerges from our contemporary culture.