IKEA and Stefan Diez explores the future of work

Working today is more flexible than ever and the traditional office spaces as we know them are about to change. To develop better workplaces for the many people, IKEA teams up with award winning industrial designer Stefan Diez to try out new solutions and using the IKEA Democratic Design Centre in Älmhult as the place to test the prototype.

The way our workplaces have been designed during the years reflect different perspectives on how we perform our best. In a more flexible yet complex world of today, people’s individual needs becomes more important, and the growing demand for mobility forms less formal offices. IKEA and Stefan Diez are looking into the next level of designing workplaces and how we can adjust our offices to how our brains are meant to work.

“We know that the definition of what a job is, changes a lot right now. In fact the only constant we see in the future is change itself. Going forward we believe that the sustainable approach to work and workplaces is to set up structures that are built for change. That’s why we at IKEA use ourselves as guinea pigs, by using our own workspace here in Älmhult to find out how to do this in the very best way”, says Marcus Engman, Head of Design at IKEA Range and Supply.

The collaboration with Stefan Diez rises from a common curiosity towards the future workplace. Stefan Diez is an industrial designer who has a lot of experience from setting up creative workspaces for companies that are constantly changing. He uses a combination of hands-on experiments and technical know-how in all his work. IKEA and Stefan Diez also share the vision of making beautiful design objects affordable for the many people.

“A more interwoven and complex world affects how we work and there are a lot of interesting challenges from a design perspective. In the collaboration with IKEA we want to create better workplaces for everyone. Good design should be accessible”, says Stefan Diez, Industrial designer and founder of Diez Office. 

The IKEA workspace collaboration with Stefan Diez will be prototyped in Älmhult starting 2019. 

Growing up in a household of 4th-generation carpenters, Stefan Diez’s early bond with craftsmanship has profoundly shaped his development as an industrial designer. Following his family tradition by training as a cabinetmaker, he went on to study industrial design under Richard Sapper at the State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart. After returning to Munich to work with Konstantin Grcic, he founded his own studio in 2002.
From 2007 to 2014, he was professor of industrial design at the University of Arts and Design Karlsruhe (HFG), before joining the School of Industrial Design Lund, Sweden, in 2015. Since 2018 Stefan Diez is head of Industrial Design ID1 at Die Angewandte in Vienna.

In 2008, Stefan Diez established his studio in the renovated facilities of a former joinery, which provides the ideal platform for his unique combination of hands-on experimentation and technical know-how. Led by curiosity and supported by a network of local craftsmen and specialists, DIEZ OFFICE is dedicated to transforming ideas into actual products with great diligence and proficiency.

Together with his team, Stefan Diez has been exploring a broad spectrum of design, creating award-winning furniture, tableware and accessories, in collaboration with internationally renowned manufacturers like e15, emu, Hay, Rosenthal, Thonet, Vibia, Wagner and Wilkhahn.

IKEA is one brand and many companies. Around the globe, a large number of companies operate under the IKEA trademarks.

IKEA Range & Supply, consisting of IKEA of Sweden in Älmhult and IKEA Supply, have the responsibility to develop, design, produce and supply IKEA stores around the world with home furnishing solutions available to the many people. Each year IKEA Range & Supply introduces 2,000 new products in the IKEA stores. The total range is almost 10,000 products.