Ikea is basically a fact of life. It’s inescapable. Anytime you move, it requires at least one trip to the blue-and-yellow monolith. The journey, along that predetermined path which discourages backtracking or tangential forays, comes with a certain sense of dread. “Ugh, I have to go to Ikea this weekend,” you complain to your friends in the days leading up to it.
Of course, once inside and properly sated with meatballs, you quickly find yourself mesmerized by the numerous options. It’s easy to become convinced that you need that Poang rocking chair or Sonderod rug. The next thing you know, you’re struggling to get that unwielding shopping cart back to your car with way more stuff than you intended.
As common as a trip to Ikea is the actual struggle to assemble Ikea furniture. But the endless toils with the provided S-shaped Allen wrench may go the way of the phone booth and dodo bird. That is because Ikea has come out with a new line of furniture that simply snaps together.
The brand developed a new joint called the wedge dowel. It is a variation on a mortise and tenon where a ribbed “male” end inserts into a pre-drilled “female” end. In an interview with Dezeen, Ikea CEO Jesper Brodin said the move stemmed from both consumer frustration and a desire to conserve resources. “Ikea furniture typically contains quite a lot of fittings. So we thought, what happens if we try to take them out totally? We are now into the implementation phase of making it possible for you to click your furniture together.”
The Swedish company has been developing the concept for quite some time. It first tested it out on a line of storage products in 2014, but now plans to roll the solution out across all its furniture, starting with the Lisabo series of tables which became available earlier this year.
Brodin said that a table that used to take 24 minutes to put together can now be assembled in three minutes. Another added benefit is that the products can be disassembled and reassembled easily without losing any structural integrity over time.
The famed Allen key isn’t going away entirely, however. It just might suck less. Said Brodin, “There will probably still be some things you assemble but maybe we can make that more fun and easy.”