IKEA Hacked, Ikea Museum | Exhibition design

Role : Exhibition design, UX design, graphic design
Tool : Illustrator, Photoshop
Date : November – December 2017

What happens when IKEA products are made into artworks or completely new design objects? Digital installations created for the exhibition ‘IKEA Hacked: Our Products. Your Ideas.’ at IKEA Museum invite visitors to explore and interact with artworks by international artists, architects and designers – all using IKEA products as materials in their work. Centered around the phenomena of ‘hacking’ or altering of IKEA items, the exhibition gives insight into how hacking is almost a lifestyle today, where individuals create an emotional bond with something that they have built and re-built themselves.



4 digital installations were created for the exhibition, as well as the exhibition’s overall graphic design, scenography and lighting design.

At several locations around the exhibition visitors are greeted by interactive, colourful plinths that hold information about specific topics related to the “hacking”-phenomenon. By turning an Allen key – the tool of choice when assembling IKEA furniture – in the middle of the plinth, visitors activate different animations or texts on either a screen or a projection next to the plinth. The speed with which the visitor turns the Allen key controls the speed of the visual output which creates a physical interplay between the analogue and the digital experience.

The installation ‘Hacks & Culture’ lets the visitor explore how hacking manifests itself and evolves in creative and interesting ways in the hands of ordinary people. Here, four physical objects are placed in front of a wall. When holding the objects up to the wall various hacks made by others appear as animations on the wall.

The installation ‘IKEA by You’ is a big carousel built out of different pieces of IKEA furniture and products. Placed in a circle around the merry-go-round are four large touch screens that show the different products as they pass by. Visitors choose one or more products as they pass by, and these are then broken down into their individual components, which can be hacked and transformed into creative art pieces on the screen.

Once the visitor has created their hack it can be named using an IKEA name generator. When typing a name or a word, the generator will create a name similar to that but derived from real IKEA product names. The visitor also gets a print of their creation to bring home. All art pieces made by visitors are exhibited digitally on a wall projection in the museum.

The visual identity created for the exhibition transports the visitors through the magical world of hacking. Here, the famous IKEA instruction manual with the iconic IKEA character is deconstructed, rotated and scaled up, thus being a perfect metaphor for IKEA hacking. In contrast to these graphic elements, four different colours surround the visitors throughout the different areas of the exhibition. These colours serve as codes for categories and a means of wayfinding to guide visitors through the exhibition space without having to follow a specific path.

For this project, I worked on the exhibition design concept within a multidisciplinary team, as a UI/UX and graphic designer. I reflected on the user experience for each of the installations and worked on the artistic direction of the whole exhibition (which solicited inputs on scenography as well).