25 August 2008, 00:33 by mark hoekstra

IKEA love toy

This is part of an upcoming exhibition/contest, organized by Amsterdam based Platform21.

Out of the Hack-your-IKEA description:

Trash to Treasure

Truly hacking IKEA also means hacking the ideological basis the company’s functioning is founded on. Its products are cheap and not made to last very long. So hack those principles! Every night when people put out the trash, you’ll inevitably find various discarded IKEA furniture among the debris. Don’t throw away your IKEA products – make them into something new!

for more information about this exhibition: Platform21 = Hacking IKEA

for those interested (and near Amsterdam, you have to present your work there), you can still send in your work to join the contest too! (until september 15th 2008)

contest guidelines: Hack-your-IKEA competition

A while ago Platform21 asked me if I would like to join the fun and of course I would! So I spend quite some time wandering around my local IKEA and here’s what I came up with:

(only read/scroll further if you’re not easily offended, it’s called a love toy for a reason)

IKEA love toy

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IKEA is this perfect family shopping paradise but when I strayed through the IKEA in my hometown I started wondering? They sell everything and they simply thought of everything. From doorknobs for my kitchen door to a cheap ice cream when you’re done shopping, there’s nothing that has escaped the minds of our Swedish interior overlords…

But… where’s the sex? The average 2008 advertisement has more sex than all of IKEA combined (imho). Not even in the bedroom section there’s a clue people do anything else there than sleeping. All hints into that direction are simply absent and IKEA sells its products so wholeheartedly without sex, that once I noticed that, I could only go one way with this project: bring in the IKEA love toy!

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(“this is how you see everything”)

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...everything except sex that is, it’s simply not there, time for a change:

How to make an IKEA love toy

our ingredients:

  • a pair of IKEA Omsorg shoe trees (EUR 1.50 a pair)
  • an IKEA Produkt Milk Frothing Device (called ‘Produkt’...) (EUR 0.75)
  • some AA ­batteries (a package containing ten batteries costs EUR 2.00)

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Well, let’s first test the milk frother, shall we?

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It seems this milk frothing device is spinning around instead of vibrating, it’s actually nothing more than a small electric motor with this …em… thing attached.

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The first idea was to attach this spring of our shoe tree to the milk frother but since that one is spinning around instead of (only) vibrating), we need to come up with something else.

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Here you have the milk frothing device opened up. It’s really a very simple device. Since all of the vibrating tools around us, phones, force­feedback joysticks etcetera, work with an electric motor where there’s deliberately some weight attached to the axis, this is what we’re going to build of this electric motor. After that we’ll find a way to attach the top of the shoe tree to this device so that the whole unit will vibrate without having strange parts spinning around at insane speeds.

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To attach the top of the shoe tree in a solid way, we need to open up the top of the milk frothing device. I used a Dremel to shave off millimeter after millimeter until I had the right diameter.

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After that I needed to find out where to cut the metal axis. The idea is to bring the axis out of balance (which produces the vibrating effect) simply by twisting the axis around at a certain point. For that, we need to cut the metal axis a little further down the scale, I cut it at 4.5 centimeters.

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After that I simply twisted it around and tested it. It rotates and.. it vibrates! Now you could attach some more weight to it, to make it vibrate even more(...)

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After that the top can be simply attached and tada! We have an IKEA love toy (just to make sure, it’s meant for women and external use only)(if that doesn’t ring a bell, use it for a neck massage). It features an on/off button and it vibrates like there’s no tomorrow.

So, now we have a love toy, made solely from products sold at IKEA. Just like everything else at IKEA, it’s cheaper than the competition, the shoe trees were EUR 1.50 and the milk frothing device was a EUR 0.75, ten batteries cost EUR 2.00 so that makes 40 eurocents for two of these. In all, if you make one of these, it sets you back (1.50 + 0.75 + 2.00) a staggering EUR 4.25.

If you, for whatever reason, make a couple of these(...) you only need half of the shoe trees, two of the batteries and one milk frothing device, in other words, this love toy costs 0.75 + 0.40 + 0.75 = EUR 1.90 a piece.

So even though this is a product IKEA will (probably) never sell and/or approve, some of the IKEA values are still present in this love toy. *^_^*

ok, my Gestalta figure knocked herself out…
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Platform21 = Hacking IKEA exhibition is open from:
7 September – 28 September 2008
Wed – Sun 14.00 – 21.00
Prinses Irenestraat 19 1077 WT Amsterdam
T +31203449444


Platform21 = Hacking IKEA
Hack-your-IKEA contest


NOS Headlines
Hacking IKEA on national TV (full episode)
link to excerpt of above episode on a youtube video

Hacking IKEA on Bright.tv

more on this site:

Hacking IKEA in Amsterdam

DIY trackback

Ridiculous Design Rules: Form Follows Function Case Study
Amsterdam Weekly Issue 34 – page 7


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             you can find all of my projects overhere