News / Product Design

Ikea’s new product-hacking products makes furniture accessible for people with disabilities

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McCann: Thisables for Ikea Israel

Ikea is chucking out good ideas left, right and centre as of late, from a ship that collects trash on Deptford creek to animal homes made from upcycled furniture. Well, they say good things come in threes, and this week Ikea’s Israeli HQ unveiled a new project, called ThisAbles, that aims to make its products more user-friendly for people with disabilities.

Created in collaboration with the not-for-profit social organisations Milbat and Access Israel, ThisAbles is a collection of 13 designs that offers hacks to existing Ikea products to make them easier to use. A “mega switch" can be slid over the base of a Ranarp lamp to make it easier to press, while the “glass bumper” is a strip of plastic that prevents wheelchair users from knocking into the glass of a Billy bookcase. There’s nifty gadgets for opening zips, gripping curtains, raising couches, winding handles, and other actions that people might find challenging. All designs are available as free schematics that can be 3D printed anywhere in the world.

Ikea Isreal worked with advertising agency McCann Tel Aviv to create a campaign featuring people with disabilities showing how each of the designs work and how they can be installed. Users can also submit issues and suggestions to the ThisAbles site to inspire future hacks.

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Ikea: ThisAbles