IKEA has worked with the Red Cross to build a replica of a real Syrian home inside its Norwegian flagship store. The ‘apartment’ (designed with help from creative agency Pol) is based on a refugee woman named Rana, a mother of four, who all live in a tiny two-bedroom, 25-square metre apartment in Damascus. Pol visited and filmed Rana’s home so that they could recreate it exactly.
Built from rough concrete blocks, the showroom is antithetical to the usual IKEA dream home setup, giving customers a glimpse of what life is like in a war zone such as Syria. Also, IKEA’s recognisable price tags were used as a narrative to convey the refugees’ stories and to provide information on how to donate to Red Cross.
IKEA are no stranger to proving aid and awareness to the war in Syria and their victims. In February employees delivered donated merchandise to Helping With Furniture’s new depot for household items for Syrian refugees in Ottawa.
The furniture depot for new Syrian refugees opened its doors in Ottawa in February this year, providing used household goods to families in need (since 2005). IKEA Canada donated $5,000 worth of IKEA goods!
That’s not all IKEA have done to help refugees – a few months ago they unveiled an easily deployable solar-powered shelter that can provide sturdy, safe housing in an emergency. In collaboration with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the shelters are a perfect solution for the mass shift that individuals experience when fleeing from the war in Syria. Although the Lebanese government was hesitant to approve the use of the IKEA shelters, after 6 months of negotiations it’ll finally be available to Syrians in Lebanon.