Danish creative powerhouse Nikextension, who is working with IKEA for an IKEA exhibition focused on the idea of home in Älmhult, Sweden, due to open in February 2017, briefed us with various IKEA and last year's exhibitionreports. For 2017's exhibition, Nikextension gave us three different themes to choose from: House of Gods, Relationships and Space (senses). 

My team and I dotmocratically chose for Space (senses). Therefore, our challenge was: 

How can we create an informative and inspiring exhibition journey through the senses (touch, sight, taste, smel, sound) that raises awareness, interest, sparks debate and contributes towards an understanding of 'home' and a better everyday life? 

To ensure the whole team was on the same page with the brief, we redefined the challenge into our own words:

An opportunity to create an interactive experience where all senses of each visitor can be stimulated and balanced to share an overall idea of home. 


This module was led by Industry Expert Andy Young, who prepared us for the brief by sharing his experience with us and introducing design thinking tools and methodologies and how to use them. By the time we got the brief from Nikextension, we were prepared to tackle the challenge with our new knowledge!

We spent time dissecting Ikea's Life at Home report as it was extensive, to understand the context of our chosen project of Space: senses. Besides this, desk research was done as well to understand the concept of home in relation to senses and people worldwide.

We created personas and led field research by interviewing people regarding their senses in relation to their home. With all this information,  we created a overview of each senses, to understand each sense individually and its relation to home. 

We were then able to conclude the following insights:
1.     The concept of home has a different meaning for people in different periods of their life journeys
2.     ‘Home’ is not constant, and changes over time
3.     Home is not made of one sense, but a combination of and interchangeable relationship of all senses
4.     Home is not about what is tangibly in the house, but the memories, emotions and people behind them; the               intangibles of the tangibles in the tangible home
5.     Home is universal at its core, no matter who you are or where you are from

From these insights, we were able create focus questions and begin applying idea generation techniques to create our concept. Iterating ideas, we concluded by visualizing the experience visitors will have in the exhibition space, and confirm its potential impact on visitors. 



The concept for our human centered exhibition experience is about understanding the universal idea of home by stimulating all senses. How? By unlocking the memories, emotions and people in and of visitor's real homes, as well as enabling visitors to experience their personal homes in a space that doesn't look like their home. 

Group photo with the whole class, Nikextention, Hyper Island facilitators and Industry Expert