Inside Ikea: The way we live now

Inside Ikea: The way we live now View Gallery
Ikea’s veggie meatballs, a new alternative to its more famous product

A trip to Ikea’s headquarters in southern Sweden is a window into a world of 3D renderings, futuristic blueprints, aspirational lifestyles – and meatball dinners for one.

The room is loud with the rhythmic pumping of pneumatic rams. Mechanical posteriors press themselves into the sofas and get up again. A piston and some steel plates are torturing a bent-wood chair, trying to break its back. In the next room, a bouncing baby simulator hops up and down in its cot. The robot that destroys children’s toys has the morning off.

“The technicians don’t think it is fun to do for 20,000...

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