WE’RE ALL DIFFERENT. BUT ALSO THE SAME.
The first day began with our seven experts asking themselves: ‘What does privacy mean in my life and my work?’. Their answers showed that, even in a small cross-section of people from western countries, the definition of privacy can be different for everyone.
Sophie Scott, founder of wellbeing publishing house Balance Media, needs complete solitude at home, without any interruptions from the outside world. Yet for sustainable food expert Stefano Tosoni, a genuine connection to nature provides all the private moments he craves.
London-based architect Jim Colman tackles his clients’ need for privacy through the design of their homes, while race and gender activist Sekai Makoni highlights the fact that privilege and discrimination play a part in the level of privacy a person can achieve if they’re from certain minority groups.
This was an intriguing contrast with author Bruno Simlesa’s account of what life is like as a public personality in Croatia, and the experience of being recognised outside of his home. Meanwhile, American blogger Erin Boyle steals moments to herself on the streets of Brooklyn, New York, despite the risk of being recognised, because privacy is hard to come by in a family of four (soon to be five) that lives in a one-bedroom attic apartment.
And then there’s Evan Selinger, a Professor at Rochester Institute of Technology. His research into data protection and increased levels of surveillance in our daily lives made him ask if we what we’re actually seeking is obscurity, rather than privacy.
These themes were brought into focus during an interactive exhibition that ran throughout the townhouse, where the group experienced a curated selection of stories and provocations that used film, photography, written content and interactive devices such as Alexa and Google Home, to explore the privacy landscape of today – and tomorrow.
During an initial brainstorming session, our experts were split into groups, where they came up with a longlist of ideas, including pop-up privacy hubs in IKEA stores and public spaces; adaptable and customisable furniture lines; room settings designed for privacy; and encouraging local school tours to run privacy education seminars.
Each group then developed one or two of their best ideas with the support of an illustrator, who created a visual sketch of them for the final exercise: pitching to the IKEA team.
SO, WHAT COMES NEXT?
With ongoing input from our experts, all the ideas developed during the Open House event are with the IKEA Innovation Team, who will use them to identify and explore possible new solutions for IKEA customers.
Everything we learned from the event helps us continue to inspire and enable more people around the world – no matter how or where they live – to live a better everyday life at home, by getting the breathing space they need there.
Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be sharing more about these ideas, in addition to further reflections from some of our Open House experts. So watch this space!