IKEA shows solidarity with Syrian refugees by transforming their showrooms into something a little more shocking than usual

IKEA is well-known for its interactive showrooms which recreate typical household spaces from their own products. From 17 to 30 October, the largest furniture retailer in the world transformed one of their stores into a Syrian refugee home.

The structure replicated the real home of nine Syrian refugees, including Rana, who is a mother of four. They live in the war-conflicted city of Damascus, where it is a struggle to find food, water and medicine every day.


IKEA’s iconic interactive mock-rooms were taken to the next level when customers were invited into the home of Syrian refugees.

A collaboration between IKEA Norway, The Red Cross and POL made the allegory possible. The apartment was made from dark concrete and depreciated furnishings such as meagre pillows, deteriorated mattresses and dirty toys. Like IKEA’s simulated rooms, customers were encouraged to walk through. Instead of price tags on the furniture, short descriptions were placed on objects detailing the aspects of Rana’s struggle for survival.

In placing 25 square meters of Syria into one of the busiest retailers in the world, IKEA and The Red Cross have done something truly remarkable. Not only a reality check for customers, it was a desperate plea for action. Their major aim was to recruit volunteers to collect household donations, and in the end the campaign managed to raise AU$31.5 million dollars.

Via Pedestrian TV