IKEA unveils plan to lift 200,000 people out of poverty

April 19, 2017 by  
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When most people think of IKEA , they most likely think of affordable furniture and trendy home accessories. But many people are unaware of the company’s lofty social goals. In addition to their efforts to promote sustainability , it turns out IKEA is also working on a plan to alleviate poverty for Syrian refugees and other disadvantaged people around the globe. IKEA recently announced it’s building new production centers in Jordan this summer, as part of a plan to create employment for 200,000 disadvantaged people around the world. The facilities will be open and running by August, and will provide jobs to refugees producing rugs, cushions, bedspreads, and other handmade woven items. These particular facilities are the result of a partnership with the Jordan River Foundation , a non-governmental organization founded by Jordan’s Queen Rania. To start out, these particular plants will only employ 100 people, rising to 400 within two years. About half will be local workers and the other half will be Syrian refugees . Related: IKEA’s Lena Pripp-Kovac talks to Inhabitat about their sustainability program The new production centers are just one of many projects the furniture giant is working to establish around the world. Already, they’ve launched programs to help Indian women and Sweden’s immigrant population, which employ about 2,000 people collectively. The ultimate goal is to eventually employ about 200,000 people around the world through these initiatives. Rather than lead the projects themselves, IKEA is teaming up with local social entrepreneurs – organizations that help use business solutions to alleviate poverty, rather than simply distributing aid. Not only does this help provide jobs for people who desperately need them, it also helps organizations that would normally be too small to meet IKEA’s supplier guidelines to get their work into stores around the globe. Related: IKEA is launching a whole range of “no waste” products made from recycled materials This isn’t the first time IKEA has used its clout for social good. The company also recently established the IKEA Foundation to help children in poor communities, and unveiled an award-winning flat-pack refugee shelter design . So the next time you buy a new bookshelf or visit just to sample the Swedish fare at the restaurant, you can feel good knowing your purchase is helping others around the world. Via Dezeen Images via YouTube/Screenshot

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IKEA unveils plan to lift 200,000 people out of poverty

London’s ‘smallest house’ uses flexible plywood furniture to maximize space

February 23, 2017 by  
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Danish design firm Studiomama is known for their talent of creating comfy living space out of virtually nothing. However, designers Nina Tolstrup and Jack Mama recently put their skills to the test by buying a vacant 140-square-foot structure in Northern London just to convert the tiny space into “London’s smallest house”. Taking a cue from space-efficient interiors of caravans and boats, the designers focused on making use out of every corner of the compact space by creating flexible furniture . “A tiny space like this has to be designed like one would design the interior of a caravan or boat,” Studiomama co-founder Nina Tolstrup explained, “Everything has to be custom designed as there is not room for any off the shelf furniture, which was a great challenge.” Related: Space-saving furniture transforms to make the most of a Hong Kong micro-apartment https://youtu.be/gIfNhakS_PY Using plywood as the main material, they equipped the home with custom-made, adjustable furniture to divide it into distinct functions. The foldout bed , standing desk, and extendable dining benches add utility without occupying permanent space. Mirrors placed on either side of the home were create a feeling of amplitude, and two large windows allow for optimal natural light . To create a nice lounge area, a medium-size bench and a foldout footrest were installed into the main wall, which is covered in sliding pastel-hued panels. These panels cover use-specific storage cabinets such as a designated office space with a foldout desk, a sewing machine table, shelving for books, and even a wine rack. The designers used plywood for the furniture, as well as the ceilings and flooring, because of its versatility. “The use of one dominant material has made the space seamless – where floor, walls and ceiling comes together as one,” they said. “It is also a very warm material that makes the space feel cosy and cabin like.” The design layout for the tiny home was originally an installation for the 2016 London Design festival. The designers wanted to show how compact living can be comfortable. “We see the issues of how to live in a compact living space to be of growing importance, especially given the trends towards urbanisation and rise of megacities,” they said. “We wanted to use the project to pose a question about what are the things that we really need to live comfortably.” + Studiomama Via Dezeen Photography by Rei Moon, Director/Photographer MOON RAY Studio. Video by Suzie Joyce.

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London’s ‘smallest house’ uses flexible plywood furniture to maximize space

Stunning wooden Oberholz Mountain Hut branches out of the mountainside like a fallen tree

February 6, 2017 by  
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Nestled among Italy’s Dolomites mountains  rests a stunning new mountain hut designed by Peter Pichler Architecture and architect Pavol Mikolajcak . The Oberholz Mountain Hut , which is located near the Obereggen Ski Resort , takes cues from the landscape, fitting into the surrounding natural beauty like a fallen tree. One glance at these photographs will leave you yearning to jump on a plane to Italy to explore the gorgeous wooden restaurant . The cantilevered building sprawls out from the mountain, providing visitors with breathtaking views. Three wings span out from one structure like three tree branches, “creating a symbiosis with the landscape,” in the words of Peter Pichler Architecture . The sloping roofs offer a nod to local hut design. Related: Peter Pichler’s Mirror Houses reflect the amazing beauty of the Dolomites Meanwhile the interior, featuring a picturesque restaurant, is sleek and modern. Each wing ends in a massive glass facade facing peaks to the southwest. Branching roofs along with the interior design express “a new and contemporary interpretation of the classic mountain hut.” The Oberholz Mountain Hut is situated right next to a cable station so visitors can hit the ski slopes and then return to the hut for a meal in the intimate dining space or a drink in the cozy bar near the entrance. The stunning interior is matched by a spacious outdoor terrace filled with more tables for dining and relaxing. The hut is entirely constructed with wood , according to Peter Pichler Architecture. Spruce comprises the structural elements and much of the interior, gray larch adorns the facade, and the furniture inside is made of oak. The firm describes the hut as “a homogeneous sculpture with local materials.” Peter Pichler and Pavol Mikolajcak designed the Oberholz Mountain Hut after winning a 2015 competition. The restaurant is now open to visitors. + Peter Pichler Architecture + Pavol Mikolajcak + Oberholz Images courtesy of Peter Pichler Architecture

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Stunning wooden Oberholz Mountain Hut branches out of the mountainside like a fallen tree

How One Company Is Changing Mattress-Making

November 15, 2016 by  
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Buying a new mattress is what’s referred to as a “grudge purchase.” We put it off far longer than we should and, let’s be honest, most of us hate the process of mattress shopping — the jargon, the upselling, the…

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How One Company Is Changing Mattress-Making

Gandiablasco’s Wigwams are homey spaces that let you relax outdoors in style

October 11, 2016 by  
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The wigwam-shaped design is keeps the essence of the original tipi concept and marries it with contemporary materials and finishes. It is made from aluminium and plastic sheets that can be customized in a variety of textures and colors. Its interior can fit a mini-mattress and polyurethane foam cushions covered with waterproof fabric. Wigwam looks like an oasis where people can lie back and relax. Related: Grove by SIXINCH lets you work, study and play outdoors with solar power-equipped furniture The company creates a variety of other designs as well. The Modular Al Fresco sofa follows the same structural and material logic as Wigwam, and accommodates three people in flexible configurations. Pergola , on the other hand, was designed for a larger group of people. This covered sofa references the classic outdoor pergola, with the seat and back covered with designer cushions and mini-mattresses in waterproof fabric covers. Cristal Box is a system of outdoor pergolas inspired by seventeenth-century winter gardens and combines materials made of vegetable fiber and plastic and galvanized sheeting . All the outdoor structures were designed by José A. Gandia-Blasco for GANDIABLASCO. + GANDIABLASCO

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Gandiablasco’s Wigwams are homey spaces that let you relax outdoors in style

LOCK is a bending, twisting coffee table made out of layered, multi-colored bamboo

July 6, 2016 by  
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“LOCK” is a coffee table designed out of highly sustainable bamboo . Bamboo is a strong flexible beautiful and renewable material – it grows without the help of fertilizers and is mature enough to be cut after three years. The frame is build up from layers of flexible bamboo that are pressed together and then shaped by honoring bamboo’s natural bending curve. The layers of bamboo curve through each other and entwine, locking each other in place. The layered frame uses two different color-tones: natural and caramel bamboo. This “layer cake”enhances the curves and shape of the table. The end result is a mix of nature and mathematics, of possible and impossible with a dynamic shape that looks different from every viewing point. + Plankton

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LOCK is a bending, twisting coffee table made out of layered, multi-colored bamboo

36 million IKEA dressers and chests recalled after six fatalities

July 1, 2016 by  
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IKEA , favorite inexpensive furniture company of the masses, just issued some unsettling news. They are recalling nearly 36 million MALM dressers and chests after six fatalities. They are offering either refunds or repair kits so families can anchor their furniture to walls. The recall includes six MALM models manufactured between 2002 and 2016. In 2014, a 2-year-old in Pennsylvania and a 23-month-old in Washington died after MALM chests fell on them. After IKEA’s repair program announcement in 2015, another 22-month-old in Minnesota perished when a MALM chest fell on him. None of those chests had been attached to walls. Between 1989 and 2007, IKEA received 41 reports of items that weren’t MALMs falling on people. Out of those 41 incidents, 19 children were hurt and three died. Related: IKEA issues repair kits for 27 million dressers and chests after two children crushed The furniture giant maintains if secured to walls, the items shouldn’t harm people. IKEA spokesperson Kajsa Johansson said , “When attached to a wall the products are safe. We have had no other issues with that in any other country.” The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission provided a statement and demonstration showing how the products, if unanchored, can hurt young children . Chairman Elliott Kaye said , “It is simply too dangerous to have the recalled furniture in your home unanchored, especially if you have young children.” He also said furniture falling on children results in around one death ” every two weeks .” Those owning affected models can bring them back to IKEA, or, according to Kaye, IKEA will provide pickup service for consumer’s without transportation. Furniture owners can also ask for a repair kit to secure MALM pieces, as well and certain STOCKHOM, BUSUNGE, NORDLI, or STUVA products. Via Reuters Images via Wikimedia Commons and Emily May on Flickr

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36 million IKEA dressers and chests recalled after six fatalities

Spiral Stool is a sturdy flat-pack stool made from 100% recyclable cardboard

June 28, 2016 by  
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Cardboard might not seem like a sturdy material to build furniture with, let alone an attractive option, but Taipei-based MisoSoupDesign’s Spiral Stool proves cardboard furniture can be strong, beautiful, and eco-friendly to boot. Made from 100% recyclable cardboard, the spiral stool is a flat pack stool that’s easy to assemble without the need for any special tools and can support up to 100 kilograms of weight. The Spiral Stool just awarded the Platinum A’Design Award in Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design competition Category. + MisoSoupDesign The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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Spiral Stool is a sturdy flat-pack stool made from 100% recyclable cardboard

Artist makes Dust Jewelry out of soil from abandoned Icelandic farms

June 28, 2016 by  
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Icelandic artist Ágústa Sveinsdóttir reminds us all of the transience of nature by crafting jewelry out of a simple material: dust. Collected from the soil of deserted farms in the Icelandic countryside, with time the Dust jewelry withers away, revealing a manmade structure — a sort of skeleton within — giving the bearer a chance to savour every moment of its life span. Using a biodegradable adhesive, dust is transformed into a jewel coating. It is a celebration of the fragile beauty that time and use impart to materials. + Dust Jewelry The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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Artist makes Dust Jewelry out of soil from abandoned Icelandic farms

Jam Furniture transforms reclaimed timber into sleek minimalist designs

June 27, 2016 by  
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Stylish furniture that is kind to the environment is always the way to go and it’s even better if the designs reference the beauty of nature. Like its name indicates, Jam Furniture is sweet yet practical. Inspired by reclaimed material and minimalist design, Jam Furniture’s creations showcase timber that tells a story, timber that had a previous life. Details like the nail holes in this stunning seventy-year-old reclaimed Australian cypress pine table are what make each design unique. Since many of these quirks can’t be recreated without the passage of time, Jam takes care to retain as many of them as possible. An all-natural (even edible) Beeswax polish gives the timber a sheen that extenuates the character of the grain, while locally sourced folded and powder coated steel frames and celebrates the warmth of the wood. Jam was established by Ben Cramp in 2013 on the rugged West Coast of Wales in the UK. + Jam Furniture The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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