This is how we live: stories to inspire change

Introducing Us & Our Planet, a new book from Phaidon, a leading global publisher of the creative arts. Created in collaboration with IKEA, it explores how people around the world are creating happier and more sustainable ways of living. Together we’ve set out to think about the future of our planet through six of our most precious resources: time, space, food, rest, play and togetherness. In the book you will meet homes, workspaces, and shared spaces from New York to Nairobi, Bali to Beirut. The result is an inspirational study of the home and the big and small things we can all do to make our world a little better.

Editor's thoughts

Life visits

Since the 1950s, IKEA has conducted home visits all over the world, to find out more about the way people live. Inspired by the rigour, candour, curiosity, and surprise that comes with this approach, we visited twelve individuals and families around the world to find out about their own journey towards a more sustainable way of living.

One such visit was the Soh family in the suburbs of Singapore. Together, they established One Kind House, a multi-generational space which matriarch ‘Mummy Soh’, her son Calvin and his wife Arlette, and their children Eva and Dylan use as a communal centre and workspace – a contemporary version of the traditional ‘kampung’, or village kitchen. It also includes an urban farm garden, cooking school, research and development lab and an atelier, always hosting those passing through. Together, they are working to establish a new way of life which has the local community at its centre.

IKEA design

Sustainability at its core is connected to everyday life at home, the resources we use and the objects that we engage with. As such, the book considers products that have epitomized IKEA’s ideas about what makes ‘good design’ over the past seventy-odd years.

Each product is inspired by the five dimensions of Democratic Design: a system created by IKEA to aid the development of products that embody good form, function, and quality, while also being sustainable and accessible to many at a low price. Alongside the ever-popular BEKV?M stool, still in the range today, are old favourites such as the IKEA PS GULLHOLMEN rocking chair in banana fibre that was first unveiled twenty years ago.

A book for everyone, everywhere

Us & Our Planet will be available for purchase through Phaidon. In addition, many IKEA markets will be distributing a limited number of copies to customers, during the launch of the book.