David Byrne on IKEA

First of all, David Byrne has a blog. (Unfortunately, the blog is not called Talking Head, or any variation of this).

Secondly, Byrne makes fun of IKEA on his blog:

My sister had the idea that we would take my parents to IKEA to look at possible replacements for their kitchen cabinets, counters, sinks and storage. I loved the idea of a trip to IKEA since I’d never been there ever. And as it was to be a look-see and not a buying trip, the pressure would be low. I was looking forward to the famous Swedish meatballs for lunch too.

IKEA is huge. We went up to the second floor where the shelves, sofas, tables and lamps are all arrayed into tasteful little room settings — rooms, but with mysterious tags hanging everywhere. Immediately I thought it was like entering a videogame world. Who lives here? What do they do? Why is that book on the table? Is that significant? Could it be some kind of clue to the occupant’s identity?

Why does everything have weird names? Every container, shelf, cabinet or appliance had some odd name, as if people from Planet Sweden anthropomorphized these objects, naming each one they encountered as best they could**:


One soon realizes that one of the goals of this “game” is to decide which cabinets, in which wood or wood-like material, would, could or should be combined with which counter materials, and then to match them to a particular style sofa and upholstery, and finally, to select the color and texture of floor material that would coordinate best with all the above.

Additional Authors Note: I want to write a history, or some kind of work about IKEA. At this point I only have a title, Do It Yourself: How IKEA Transformed Modern Furniture.


4 thoughts on “David Byrne on IKEA

  1. It’s pretty fascinating. I think that their instruction manuals could be a a piece of artwork themselves. There are no works, and the little stick figures that experience back pain (where you learn how to lift properly) and really stylized.

    Have you heard about the IKEA in Europe that has a hostel right in the store?

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