I’m an artist in Chicago and have been making sculpture with IKEA materials for about 10 years.
Usually the work has to do with early 20th century modernism, using references to the Bauhaus or Constructivism, but framed through a contemporary consumerist context.
In fact, my work was recently included in the “IKEA Hacked” exhibition at the IKEA Museum in Älmhult. So I got a chance to go there!
Here are a few IKEA projects I have worked on over the years. The most recent sculpture is the IKEA Skeleton.
#1 IKEA Skeleton
I buy a lot of IKEA and end up with lots of leftover material. So I had the idea to see if I could make a skeleton with the parts I had.
Well … hello?
The challenge is to use the IKEA product with as little alteration as possible. It would be a lot easier to sculpt a skeleton using common raw materials like wood or clay. But, I wanted to be constrained by what was available and I wanted the result to be recognisably IKEA.
The problem-solving process is what keeps me interested. I had so much fun making it that I started another one, which will be made of different parts.
My project is titled INGVAR_1, and it’s a life-size articulated skeleton made of 100% IKEA parts. I know this isn’t really the usual kind of hack on IKEA Hackers, because it’s a sculpture rather than a useful object.
But, you guys may be interested to see it. It would be very difficult to list all the items that went into it, and instructions would be impossible.
INGVAR is of course the name of the late founder of IKEA. I made this as a respectful commemoration.
#2 Motorized LACK tables
This is from an exhibition called Catalog, which consists of 5 sculptures. I made the Catalog (Blue Tables) from LACK tables. Firstly, I cut and then, reassembled each table. In addition, each table has motorized legs that tilts the table gently up and down. The result is a wave-like motion. See more here.
#3 Cabinet for Walter Gropius
This is the first in a series of sculpture/furniture pieces that are based on the architecture of Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus. Specifically, I made IKEA models of all eight mid-century modern Gropius buildings that the City of Chicago demolished.
This piece is based on the 1953 Power Plant, assembled using three BESTÅ cabinet bases. Read more.
~ by Jeff Carter. See more of Jeff’s work here.