Ikea Field Trip

Please post your descriptive responses to the Ikea chair here.  Please include

  • What design principles and elements were employed to create the object
  • How was the object made (materials)?
  • How would you remake the object? (processes)?
  • How are the objects designed to be “unfolded”?
  • How are the objects protected from damage while shipping?

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Instructor Wayne State University
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9 Responses to Ikea Field Trip

  1. ruwaidabaarma says:

    ▪ What design principles and elements were employed to create the object?
    The chair has a sleek look, which is created by the sharp lines. The chair achieves balance by the repetition in the shape of the seat and the legs. The thin steel tubes give it volume and support using triangulation. The design is simple and fits its purpose of use value. The chair was designed to meet human needs of saving space, which is achieved by its small scale and its flat shape.

    ▪ How was the object made (materials)?

    It was made of plywood, steel tubes, melamine laminate, glue, screws, plastic and chrome.

    The seat was made using a mold, which is filled with thin layers of plywood. Then it is laminated with melamine. The legs of the chair are made of hollow bent steel. Extra steel is welded on the side of the legs, so that the two legs can be connected. The pieces are held together using screws and glue.

    ▪ How would you remake the object? (processes)?

    I would start by making the mold for the seat. Then I would layer the plywood in the mold holding it together with glue. Next, I would sand the sides and use melamine laminate to cover the seat. After that, I would bend the steel tubing to create the legs and weld two extra tubes to the side of the legs. I would make holes for the screws on the ends of the welded tubes and the shorter tubes that connect the parts together. I would then connect the legs using the shorter steel tubing.

    ▪ How are the objects designed to be “unfolded”?

    It would come in a box. The box should be wider than the legs. It should unfold into two large separate bags, which would be held in place by two pieces of cardboard. The first bag should contain the seat. The second bag should contain the legs. In the second bag with the legs there should be a box that contains the shorter steel tubes. Moreover, there should be a bag of parts that would be separated into three sections one for the screws, one for the swiveling feet and one for the universal tool for assembly. In total it would make it three bags and two boxes.

    • How are the objects protected from damage while shipping?

    Plastic bags should cover the pieces in order to protect it from water. Also, the extra cardboard from the top and bottom would hold them in place to keep the parts protected from shifting in the box to prevent it from creating scratches on the tubes. The bag of parts is divided into three; therefore, it is protected from scratches.

  2. Cyndi Scheidel says:

    I chose the “Jules” visitor chair at Ikea, the link to the item is http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S39848318/. Balance was utilized on the shell of the seat as the horizontal and vertical planes are approximately the same shape and size. Contrast, repetition and balance were characterized by a series of three rows of three cut-out circles in the vertical plane of the seat shell. The cut-outs also contribute to use value, as you can grab the seat-back through one of the topmost circular cut-outs to easily move the chair around. Texture was utilized in that the entire chair surface is smooth, including the four silver bolts that protrude near the corners of the horizontal plane of the seat shell. A pattern of shape is utilized, as all the corners of the seat shell and legs are rounded, as are the four protruding silver bolts, which is a repetition of the circular cut-outs on the vertical plane of the seat shell. The chair is available in different colors; I chose red with shiny silver bolts; the use of a solid seat shell color promotes harmony, and the four shiny silver protruding bolt tops at the corners provide pattern and balance.

    The seat shell is made of molded beech plywood, with polyurethane paint. Thin sheets of beech are placed on the bottom portion of the mold, and are glued together. The top portion of the mold is placed and pressed until the desired shape is attained. The legs are made of two pieces of tubed steel, with a pigmented epoxy. The two leg pieces cross in the middle of the chair, which is a use of triangulation to increase strength. The casters or tips of the legs are made of white plastic, as are the four clips on the underside of the seat shell which secure the tubular steel. The manufacturing seems so efficient that I can’t think how I’d remake this in a better way.

    The seat shell and legs are fixed/immovable, so there is no unfolding. The seat shells are stackable, so are probably stacked and boxed for shipping. The two tubular legs lay flat, and are probably encased in plastic and held in place by cardboard when shipped to avoid damaging the finish. The plastic tips and clips, nuts and bolts are probably in a sealed plastic bag, both to avoid losing any small pieces as well as avoid damage to the finish of the other component parts.

  3. Zach Thompson says:

    I chose the POÄNG chair from Ikea, http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S79825193/#/S99825192
    ▪ What design principles and elements were employed to create the object?

    The chair was designed to express a stylish yet convenient unity between the different pieces that complete it. Balanced is achieved by the curved legs moving in towards the base of the chair. The footprint the chair leaves is rather small but the space containing the inside is flat of volume. A distinct contrast from the darker wood to the red fabric provides a pleasing yet settle look.

    ▪ How was the object made (materials)?

    Screws, glue, birch wood, polyurethane foam, clear acrylic lacquer.

    ▪ How would you remake the object? (processes)?

    I would first start by constructing the legs for the chair. Once I had the base of the chair made I would then work on molding the actual chair. From there I would construct the fabric to cover the backrest of the chair.

    ▪ How are the objects designed to be “unfolded”?

    The chair was designed to easily and conveniently fit inside a box more of a square shaped. If it was unfolded it would look almost similar to a two dimensional triangle.

    • How are the objects protected from damage while shipping?

    Plastic bags covered the legs wooden chairs to prevent water damage. Also bubble wrap was enclosed around the legs to prevent from any damages. The screws were enclosed in smaller plastic bags and the fabric was also covered by a layer of plastic to prevent any damages. Pieces of cardboard were constructed to hold the legs in their place and avoid any movement that could occur.

  4. Konrad Tenwolde says:

    Manstad Sofa: This objects shape is created by horizontal and vertical rectangular planes. The planes consist of straight lines. There is balance among the parts because they are all like shapes. The shapes have some varying proportion. There is a perceived volume since the object is big. There is an actual storage container beneath one cushion that has substantial volume. The objects use value is versatile as it can be a sofa, bed and storage.

    The frame of the object is made from various woods fastened with screws and bolts. The cushions are a type of foam covered in cotton fabric. The object is shipped in four large cardboard rectangular boxes. All the parts of the object are laid horizontal in the package and stacked. The boxes use a combination of cardboard buffers to prevent damage during shipping. The object is shipped flat and when unfolded/unpackaged it achieves the desired design when planes are arranged parallel and perpendicular.

    I think there is a visual flaw in this design and is something I would change. As part of its use value the sofa turns into a bed, when pulled out a large gap between planes is revealed. This plane being hidden would be more appealing to the consumer.

  5. Ashley Laskey says:

    I was not able to attend the Ikea field trip but have been many times and own an Ikea entrainment center. Here is a link for a similar picture of this object; http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_hvUgLTILEVE/So2xrIlSKyI/AAAAAAAAJF0/ZSpYUgW8eBc/s400/TVstandIkea.jpg For this descriptive response I will be addressing the design principles and elements that were employed to create this object using my personal Ikea product. The line design principle defines the outside edge of these rectangular forms, creating volume to each piece. Another design element is areas that contrast with the space next to or around it implying a shape. This happens because the squares and rectangles have an implied boundary, using the differences of values in the overall look. The type of form used for this piece is man-made and has a geometric. These forms are being created by combining two or more shapes with construction. For this entertainment center the individual parts are viewed as more important than the whole design. There is good balance in Ikea flat packaging products between unity and variety. Each design principal and element is important to three dimensional products, even down to the boxes it’s shipped in.
    The materials that were used to create this entertainment center included wood, glue, screws and legs to be assembled. In the recreation of the object you would have to cut the wood down to the correct size being lined up. This object would also need to be reinforced with screws and fasteners, along with holes being drilled into the wood for the legs. This object is designed to be unfolded for easy shipping and storing. All the pieces of wood are rectangular, lying flat on each other; the metal legs are wrapped in a thicker board and placed at the bottom so there is no movement. These uses of the design principals and elements create a use able product for shipping, assembly and aesthetic appeal.

  6. Lindsey Olah says:


    I chose the NANDOR sand/nickel pleated chair. The most obvious design element used to create this object is line. The chair is constructed entirely of horizontal and vertical lines and then it is also decorated with woven horizontal and vertical lines for the back rest. Pattern is also very prominent when looking at the woven unbleached paper. Texture also plays another important role in the creation of this chair and is also easily identifiable through the weaving. This object is made with 5 pieces and 8 screws. It is comprised of plastic, steel, unbleached paper and screws. This object is designed to be “unfolded” by it breaks down into 5 pieces; the back and seat are all one piece one bar makes up 2 legs and there are 2 of them and the legs are held together by a bar in the front and a bar in the back. The objects are protected from damage from shipping because the pieces are separated and lie flat with plastic around each piece. This particular chair was not damaged, however I feel like this chair is susceptible to damage because of the weaving on the back and the seat of the chair.

  7. banin1 says:

    The chair is designed with a foam and polyester padded seat and legs of solid wood Henriksdal chairs is ideal for long dinners. To make them even more comfortable, the chairs have a high padded back .
    It was made from wood ,foam,Screws, glue, birch wood, polyurethane foam, clear acrylic lacquer and a clothes texture.
    The seat was made from four legs merged with a wooden seat glued and padded with the seat. This chair is unfoldable, but it can be packed in a square shaped box.It can be protected by wrapping it with air bubbles made from materials like plastic bags. Then it would putten in a hard container that would add to the protection.

  8. Rabih Khalil says:


    The chair I picked from Ikea is a metal folding one.
    From a design aspect, although it’s a simple folding chair, it has several elements that make it appealing. The light teal color, inviting and fun. The holes in it with the fanning line structure, serve as a visually appealing aspect, and they also fill the seat, making these hole serve also as a functional element because they provide ventilation. The wavy seat also makes the chair more pleasing to look at, compared to the old boring folding chairs, but again it’s a functional design element, it makes sitting on it more comfortable because it conforms to the shape of the body. Line, repetition, color, even proportion are all principles and elements of design that work well for this affordable chair.
    The chair looks like it was very easy to make and assemble, I don’t see many parts involved, besides the tubing, the seat, and the back. A chair like this could be quickly made in large numbers and shipped economically.
    The reason why I say it could be shipped economically, is because all the chair does is fold to get in the box, and simply unfold when taken out, there is no reason for assembly. The shipping part is great because the chair looks like a rectangle when folded, so when placed in a box, it will fit perfectly filling all extremities, wasting no space horizontally or vertically.
    The fact that the chair fits the box perfectly, it prevents it from moving during transportation, but this chair doesn’t need added protection, because it’s made out of steel, which makes it sturdy, breakage doesn’t even apply to it. It is also great against the elements, I beleive water wouldn’t do anything to it, so it’s safe on all fronts.
    All and all, this is a great product, affordable for the design and function that it provides, comes in handy and stacks away easily when not in use.

  9. Jessica Haj says:


    • What design principles and elements were employed to create the object?
    The element of design Line is used a lot to create this chair. The seat and back are made of repetitive lines shaped as rectangles. That also gives it a sense of pattern, because the rectangles come right after eachother. Different textures were included, as you can see the seat and back are made of wood and they are all held together with the legs of the chair which are metals. Not so much color is used, just brown for the wood and dark grey which is the color of the metal. This chair is foldable, which was made to save space and give it a flat shape.

    • How was the object made?
    Materials: Wood, metal, screws, wheels.
    First, the wheels were screwed on to the bottom of the metals so that the chair easily moves around. Second, all the metals were screwed to eachother creating an X shape from the left and right side, to hold the seat up. Then the woods of the seat are screwed to the metals, being next to eachother. Then the 2 rectanglular woods at the top are screwed to the metal to create the backstand of the chair.

    • How would you remake the object?
    If I was to remake the object, I would make it look a bit more interesting. I would paint it all and give it color. Also, I would add more wood pieces to the back to make it more comfortable. But if I was just to take this one apart and remake it, I would start off by screwing the wheels to the bottom. Then I would cut up the rectangle pieces of wood with band saw where they are same shape and size proportionally. Then I would use sandpaper to smoothen them. I would connect the metals and screw them to eachother. I would bend the 2 long legs from the top to create the back of the seat. Then I would screw the wood pieces on.

    • How are the objects designed to be unfolded?
    This chair may seem easier than a lot of others, simply because you could unscrew all the pieces. Once you unscrew them you can place them in a box, and place the screws in another small container.

    • How are the objects protected from damage while shipping?
    The box they are placed in is cut exactly to where it is the same length as the longest metal piece. The pieces are placed in a way where they have no room to move so they won’t get scratched. Also, all the pieces are covered with plastic so they don’t get liquid damaged. Styrofoam can also be placed, between all the pieces for extra support and protection.

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