Twelve Months ago this week, while I sat in a hotel room in Japan preparing to go to Japan BrickFest, IKEA and the LEGO Group announced a forthcoming collaboration. Today, as part of the IKEA Democratic Design Days 2019 Event, we heard just a little bit more:
[EDIT: July 2020: the first results of this collaboration have been spotted in Mannheim, Germany: follow this link for more]
In the meantime, they have been hard at work researching the best ways to produce a line of products together. The new range, called Bygglek, is designed to allow and easy storage solution, to let children ‘Put a pause on play’. One of the things that came out of the Play Well report last year was that children’s creative play ends up getting stifled by an adults desire to keep things organised. And even then, children tend to organise their LEGO® parts in a different way (perhaps more by story or theme) than adults ( more likely to sort out by type). There is also a difference in the way that play may occur in different rooms of the house.
Playing is crucial for the well-being of both adults and children. Together, LEGO Group and IKEA explore and develop solutions to stimulate play all around the home. The collaboration will result in BYGGLEK.
One year ago, IKEA and LEGO Group partnered up to be creative, exchange knowledge and experiment together with the ambition to develop new solutions to facilitate play in every corner of the home. Research from IKEA and LEGO Group has shown that there’s a demand among children for more playtime with their parents. At the same time, parents believe that playing is essential to their children’s well-being and happiness. Despite this, children and adults encounter several barriers and challenges when it comes to making play happen. Busy schedules and homework are a couple of obstacles, other restrictions like finding the space to play are more evident for adults than for children.
“There’s a conflict between how grown-ups look at organising and how children look at the creative play. Every grown-up has stepped on a Lego brick at night time. But organising LEGO bricks the grown-up way also means ending the play sometimes. Adults sort by typology – socks going into one drawer and belts into another. Kids sort by story, clustering it into different pieces, where you can have a half-built space ship. And in that, you can find the one piece that you need. What if we could turn that perceived mess into something wonderful?”, says Rasmus Buch Løgstrup, designer at LEGO Group.
The different perspectives might lead to that children experience rules, carried out by their parents, stops them from being as creative and playful as they wish. Parents, on the other hand, feel that playing can be a bit too messy at home, making it harder to fulfil other commitments of the everyday. The overlaying ambition between the collaboration between LEGO Group and IKEA is to overcome these kinds of obstacles. The hope is to move away from “no” to “yes” to play, and at the same time show respect to duties of the everyday.
“To do this, systematic thinking becomes key. We know that children continue the story building in their minds long after they have stopped playing with their toys. So we asked ourselves, couldn’t pause and play be a way to enable quick play? We know that children are playing with screens because it’s easy to get started. So what if we could make the LEGO play continue? That would make quick play easier and then build on the play that is continuing in the child’s mind anyway”, says Andreas Fredriksson, designer at IKEA.
To enable playing throughout the home with pauses, a solution across generations is needed. Also, different rooms need different solutions that can change after different phases in life.
“Bringing people together over play and enable more play are things that are key for both us and LEGO Group based on our respective visions, missions and values. That is why we want to explore what can happen when we work together, trying to get more of the many people to say yes to play”, says Andreas Fredriksson, designer at IKEA.
The aim is to sale start the first BYGGLEK products during 2020.
I anticipate that it will be a good twelve months before BYGGLEK arrives. What should it look like?
I am imagining boxes, happily holding a 32×32 baseplate, with a drop in divider box allowing room for the ‘model in progress,’ Unfortunately, if it holds a baseplate, it won’t neatly longer fit on my BILLY Bookshelves any more!
What do you hope BYGGLEK brings? Tables? Boxes? Shelves and Cupboards? An entire LEGO room Furnishing, Storage and Display solutions? Why not leave your comments below, and until next time…