In 2016, Ikea teamed up with the British designer Tom Dixon and design students at Parsons to develop the Delaktig “hackable” sofa–an aluminum daybed with swappable modular components like side tables. The big idea was to rethink the sofa as a full-out “seating platform,” just like apps ever-modify a smartphone to do something new.
Now, Ikea is doubling down on the idea. With Dixon, it’s releasing a Delaktig bed available this March. Coming in one size only–queen–it’s constructed from the same, extruded aluminum frame that we’ve seen in the Delaktig sofa.
You can integrate side tables and lamps–just as you could with the sofa. But the more appealing, bed-specific bit is that you can swap headboards relatively easily. It appears you just slide the board into a notch and secure it with three fasteners. Dixon designed the first wave of headboards in both black wood and rattan, which offer the same bed frame in a vastly different look.
As with all customizable furniture, the pricing gets confusing, quick. The bed starts at $429, which includes the frame and two side tables. For $449, you get a headboard, but no side tables. For the frame, headboard, and side tables, it jumps to $549. (From the press materials, it does not appear that you can buy the frame without any accessories whatsoever–but then again, that would be beside the point.)
Whether you’re interested in the Delaktig bed or not, the product serves as a fascinating portrait of Ikea’s evolving strategy to be more than a big-box, flat-pack furniture giant. In this case, the aluminum Delaktig should be anything but a one-size-fits-all disposable product developed in some Scandinavian bunker. It’s a bed crafted by Ikea outsiders–made to both be constructed to your tastes, and evolve alongside them.