Last week I went to my version of Disneyland (aka the happiest place on earth): IKEA town in Almhult, Sweden.
We were part of an international media group that was there to witness Democratic Design Day. Flying from Singapore to Stockholm with a 2.5-hour layover in Bangkok, we went on a train ride through the countryside to finally arrive in Almhult, where all the magic happens — design development, product testing, producing the catalogue, even warehousing.
Of course we stayed at the IKEA Hotel (and ate IKEA food!).
On Day 1, Democratic Design Day, our hosts took us to see IKEA Communications, where the catalogue is conceptualised, photographed, laid out and put together, and the Test Lab, where new designs are tested. After lunch we were ushered into the old IKEA store, which is being transformed to become a bigger IKEA museum, for the Democratic Design presentation by the big guns. The day ended with a Swedish smorgasborg party.
On Day 2, we visited the IKEA museum, located in the basement of IKEA Tilsammans, and the distribution center that services Europe, before we were whisked off to do our interviews.
And I stumbled upon City Hall and the new cultural center on my short walk.