When you think of IKEA, you probably think of bookshelves, beds, chairs, and such, but its next gadget will surprise you.
Furniture at home doesn’t have to be just the standards you expect to sit down, lie on, leave books on, or sit at to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They’re changing, and we’re seeing it from at least one furniture maker on a regular basis.
Sweden’s IKEA has been making a shift into the electronic space for a while, often collaborating with others to show what it can do when furniture design expertise connects with another pioneer in the area, such as how IKEA worked to build Philips Hue compatible lights, or even when IKEA and Sonos collaborated on the first generation of its multiroom Sonos-compatible sound products. It’s been a few years since we saw that collaboration, and its most recent release, the Symfonisk Frame, offers a totally different take for a multiroom speaker blending the form with art.
For IKEA’s next take on a sound product, it’s working with a musical artist to build something a little different, collaborating with electronic’s Swedish House Mafia on a few products, including a desk, a chair, and even a record player.
The concept popped up at the 2022 Milan Design Week recently, and looks set to launch in Australia later this year closer to September, also known as our spring. They’ll form as part of the “Obegränsad” collection, another IKEA furniture range you probably won’t be able to say, but will instead point out as “the black desk” or “the record player IKEA makes”, because those are the obvious ways of calling them out.
The black desk includes two speaker stands built into the design, plus a pull-out shelf below the desk potentially for a MIDI keyboard, while the associated armchair relies on adjustable straps to tune the comfort level, though we’re not entirely sure it’s made to go with the desk.
Meanwhile, that Obegränsad record player — the record player IKEA makes — will rely on a chunky box of a design that’s entirely intentional, something IKEA In-house Designer Friso Wiersma says “transmits the physicality of music in the collection, making it really claim space with the attitude of music woven into it — rather than making it blend”.
We’re not entirely sure that’s what is happening, but there’s definitely a distinctive style to the IKEA record player, and the fact that it supports replaceable stylus cartridges is already a bit of a win, with an Audio Technica cartridge loaded on in the preview photos IKEA shared.
As to how much the IKEA record player and its connected desk and chair will cost, that we’re not sure, but Australians can expect it later this year.