This small town called Älmhult, birthplace of IKEA, is bustling with journalists, TV crew, bloggers, designers, product developers, creative leaders and visitors all from over the world. Media include Forbes, Business Times, ELLE … and hundreds more. My role is to assist in the public relations and to schedule the global media visits, ensuring that all the needs and requests are being met and smooth running of the event. It may seem straightforward but in reality, keep uping with round the clock changes, demands and requests from over hundreds of media companies at the same time can be challenging.
Democratic Design is about the philosophy of good design through the right combination of form, function, quality and sustainability at an affordable price. Narrowing down to fashion, for the very first time, IKEA collaborates with fashion designers such as Katie Eary from UK, Walter Van Beirendonck from Belgium and Martin Bergström from Sweden, adding excitement and surprises in the upcoming collections which is very relevant to my studies in textile and fashion management, especially knowledge about production and value chain management.
No doubt it can be hectic at times but the exciting bit is hanging out and talking to the media, designers, creative leaders and management. Plus selfies with Katie Eary. What’s more rewarding is when my co-workers and the media visitors appreciate and compliment the team’s efforts. There is a wide array of opportunities for students with different backgrounds and faculties at IKEA. Everyone is onboard – from the suppliers, product developers, engineers, designers, creative leaders, lawyers, financiers, researchers, communicators, managers, chemists in the test labs, to the consumers. My takeaway from this experience is about engaging with a diversity of people and having a teamwork and support from each other.