Dr Pauline Garvey, Anthropologist at Maynooth University, this week launched her ground-breaking book ‘Unpacking IKEA: Swedish Design for the Purchasing Masses’.
Dr Garvey’s book represents the first anthropological ethnography of IKEA consumption and goes to the heart of understanding the unique and at times frantic popularity of this iconic transnational store.
Based on a year of participant observation in Stockholm’s Kungens Kurva store, which is the largest in the world, ‘Unpacking IKEA’ places the retailer squarely within the realm of the home-building efforts of individuals in Stockholm and also in Dublin.
IKEA is the focus of intense popular fascination internationally, yet is rarely subject to in-depth anthropological inquiry.
In ‘Unpacking IKEA’, Garvey follows the furniture’s route from the IKEA store and explores what people actually take home with them.
The launch event, held in the National College of Art and Design, was addressed by Professor Daniel Miller of University College London, who reflected on the impact of IKEA on design and material culture.