The Wedge Dowel

On a recent jaunt through design heaven, I found a beautiful desk for the apartment. Of course, it was at IKEA.

The Lisabo Desk
The connection dowel design

The Lisabo desk is beautiful in its simplicity, with a visual lightness and an elegant, organic texture. It was love at first sight and I brought it home right away.

But the beauty of this table isn’t limited to its aesthetics. Opening the flatpack revealed a delightfully designed assembly system. Each leg has a connection dowel that attaches to the table in a slotted hole, requiring only a small wheeled tensioner to hold it firmly in place. Brilliant!

The design geek that I am, I couldn’t stop thinking about the care that must have gone into coming up with this feature. Well, it turns out that the designers of the table have won some awards for this creation.

The connection dowel design was inspired by IKEA’s wedge dowel. That connector enabled furniture assembly without screws, cutting down assembly time by 80%.

The video provides great insights into IKEA’s design process. IKEA’s designers seem to work very closely with prototyping and building teams. It suggests an iterative and design oriented approach necessary for great products that stand the test of time and are loved by users.

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