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28 February 2020

Life at Home: How can IKEA help the many people with the dilemma of privacy?


The Power of Privacy was the focus of the IKEA Life at Home Report 2019, and since then, the subject has been further delved into by the Life at Home team, in collaboration with a select group of experts, to find solutions together that can help the many people unlock more privacy.

Because IKEA believes that home is the most important place in the world, we meet people where they live, to learn about what they need and dream about when it comes to their life at home. We believe that the more we learn about the way we live today, the more IKEA can help people to make their life at home that little bit better – no matter where or how they live.

The Life at Home Report 2019 research involved more than 33,500 people in 35 countries. This wealth of data gives IKEA plenty to work with in terms of meeting the not-so-small task of creating solutions to the privacy challenges that people experience in their everyday lives. Because, with nearly a quarter of people saying their privacy needs are not being met in the home, the need is most definitely apparent.

In our search for answers, IKEA hosted the Life at Home Open House event in a London townhouse in December 2019, where the subject of privacy was discussed and analysed by a group of writers, entrepreneurs, academics, an architect and a publisher – strangers to one another who had the pleasure (and challenge!) of living together for 48 hours.

The group was as follows: 

•    Sekai Makoni 
Writer, speaker and activist in race and gender studies
The Netherlands

•    Bruno Simlesa 
Psychotherapist and writer
IKEA Ambassador
Croatia

•    Sophie Scott 
Founder & Editor of wellbeing publisher Balance Media
UK

•    Evan Selinger 
Professor of Philosophy and Privacy studies, Rochester Institute of Technology
U.S.

•    Stefano Tosoni 
Founder of sustainability and wild food lab thisiseatable.com
IKEA Ambassador for Democratic Design
Italy

•    Jim Colman 
Founder of inclusive London design practice, Union architects
UK

•    Erin Boyle 
Sustainable living expert and writer of readingmytealeaves.com
U.S.

No idea was off the table or deemed too outlandish to share, and the discussions highlighted how – across western societies, and even among a group this small – everyone’s definition of privacy is different. 

Ideas that emerged during the event included pop-up privacy hubs in IKEA stores and public spaces; room settings designed for privacy; and the need to educate schoolchildren on the importance of privacy. 

The IKEA Innovation Team is now hard at work developing all this inspiration into practical solutions to help unlock the power of privacy in more homes across the world. Watch this space!

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