Putting the Allen key at the centre of attention

Tokyo-based 3D-design group Gelchop transforms no-name design products into readymade art objects – turning the original meaning or application on its head.

Gelchop looks to everyday life for inspiration, with creative ideas deriving from their own needs and hassles. It’s about aha-moments that become catalysts for change.

“Imagine a day when you’re really tired and want to plug in a cord, but the outlet is too far away. Then we may think, why is that socket fixed to the wall? How can we get it to come to us instead? And so, we create an extension cord combined with a remote-controlled car”, says Ryota Morikawa.

A man in a blue jacket working with a toolbox at a workbench in a workshop, with shelving in the background.

The trio has no wish to send a clear message, of any kind. On the contrary, they like for people to feel differently when experiencing their pieces.

“We’re happy if people are interested in our work, if it makes them think and smile”, says Morikawa.

A pair of hands drawing with a hexagonal template on the backrest of a red chair on a workbench.

An s-shaped lamp with a spiral cord mounted on a red chair in front of a row of cabinets.

Playfulness is at the heart of Gelchop’s creative world, evident not least in the torch and lamp that are their contributions to IKEA Art Event. Now they hope that the IKEA customers will add to the fun.

“We’re really excited to see how and where people will use the products. There are so many options and no right or wrong.”

Can you tell us more about the torch and lamp for IKEA Art Event 2021?

The Allen key symbolizes the essence of IKEA, but it’s rarely at the centre of attention. We want to raise the value by exploring its possibilities as an art piece. Also, we want to create something that is fun to use even for those who don’t normally find assembling furniture much fun.”

IKEA Art Event 2021 is launching during spring 2021.

A section of a white allen-key lamp with handwritten lettering in gold along one side.