When a start-up brings added value to an established retail giant
The new challenge taken up by Ikea speaks the language of robotics, as it prepares to launch – in Hong Kong and Singapore in 2020, followed by the other countries starting with major cities and metropolises – the first collection of furniture and accessories that can “change” appearance and position, and adapt to the needs of small spaces by transforming them into living rooms or bedrooms, kitchen or closets depending on the time of day. The new “Rognan” collection is the result of the collaboration between the Swedish corporation and the American start-up Ori Living, specialized in the design and production of “robotic” furniture: more specifically, an all-in-one-unit that can become a bedroom, a closet, a workspace or a living room.
The unit is managed by means of a touchpad interface that “commands” and composes the individual pieces The furniture is on wheels and movew thanks to a carriage-track positioned along the walls. Just activate the preferred “mode” and the room is composed and recomposed in seconds. The system is based on Ikea’s Platsa line, a modular series of elements that can be combined as desired, and can be customised with a series of accessories..
«We have been working for a long time to develop solutions for small spaces. In big cities in particular, people have to compromise on the functions in their homes. With Rognan, people living in small spaces won’t have to give anything up anymore and will enjoy a multifunctional environment», underlines Seana Strawn, who develops innovative products for Ikea. The system makes it possible to transform even the smallest of living spaces, and it is no coincidence that the project began with spaces as small as 8 square meters.
Instead of making furniture smaller, we transform the furniture into the function we need. When we sleep, we don’t need the sofa, when we use our closet, we don’t need our bed.
«Since we launched our robot system in the United States two years ago – underlined Hasier Larrea, founder and CEO of Ori – many people have chosen it to furnish small apartments. We began working with Ikea several years ago to distribute a line of robotic furniture around the world. With Ikea we share a commitment to help people exploit their living spaces to their fullest and we can’t wait to support them to make this project possible, as we continue to develop new-generation living spaces».
The Pocket Closet – the modular closet that can turn into a sideboard with room for the television – can be purchased in two configurations, single or double (part mobile and part static) and in three versions, “small” (5,990 dollars), “medium” (6,990 dollars), and “large” (7,990 dollars). Studio Suite – available in two sizes, “original” and “slim” at the respective prices of 18,990 dollars and 16,990 dollars – is a studio-furniture unit with shelving, a desk and a disappearing bed. All the solutions are available in a range of colours.
The company is preparing to launch the new Cloud Bed on the market, a queen-size bed that rises to the ceiling by itself, leaving the space below it free during daytime hours. There is a video on the Ori website that explains how the system works.
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translation by Olga Barmine