AEKI (Almost every known Ikea)

Davies, Adrian (2019) AEKI (Almost every known Ikea). Visualising the Home, University of Cumbria.

Abstract

The output, AEKI (Almost Every Known IKEA), is a creative project comprising multifaceted approaches to photographic image making to comment on the themes of globalisation and cultural homogenisation of the home environment. The project consists of a number of elements that combine to comment on the practice of photography. Research process: Aspects of the project have been made through physically travelling to selected stores (eg, China, Japan, Thailand). Whilst other images have been produced as ‘couch photographer’ (not leaving the home environment and travelling the virtual world). The idea of the perfect computer-generated images within the Ikea catalogue are in stark contrast to the photographs made by ebay users selling their outdated Ikea products, images that give glimpses into their private homes. Research insights: The home interior retailer Ikea promotes a vision for the domestic space on a global scale through idealised catalogues and showrooms. Ikea highlights how global consumerism can result in the loss of individuality within the home environment. Stores are similar in design and their interior layout in all countries. The global repetition of stores is mirrored by the customer experience. The idea of choice and taste is promoted to the consumer but often with limited selections of products to choose from. Whilst the shopper may feel they are making choices to personalise their home, their action and decision-making process is being replicated in stores all around the world. Peoples’ individual and regional tastes become diluted in domestic homes the world over as they are filled with the same products that are standardised in all stores. Thus, the notion of identity and the home becomes less personalised and standardised across different countries. Dissemination: The project was disseminated via a conference paper at Visualising the Home, University of Cumbria, 13-14 July 2017.

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