Sweden’s Ikea Takes Action to Support Syrian Refugees

COPENHAGEN – Swedish mega-retailer IKEA has teamed up with the Norwegian Red Cross and advertising agency POL to create a replica of a refugee house in Damascus, Syria at their store in Slependen, Norway.

The installed replica, just 25 square meters, represents the actual home of a Syrian woman named Rana and her nine family members, Arch Daily reported on Monday, November 14.

“When we had to flee to this area to find safety, we did not have enough money to rent a better place. We have no money to buy mattresses and blankets, or clothes for the children,” Rana told the Norwegian Red Cross.

The installation is presented in a stark contrast to the nearby IKEA room displays, the room’s concrete block walls and sparse furnishings highlight the everyday struggles of Syrian citizens.

In London, the Design Museum has installed one of IKEA’s flat-pack refugee shelters, “the Better Shelter,” outside the South Kensington Underground station, just steps away from the institution’s new home within a 1960s structure renovated by a team including OMA and John Pawson.

The occasion marks the Better Shelter’s first public exhibit in the UK, and will be on display until the museum’s reopening on November 24th.