Gillis Lundgren, engineer of Ikea’s entire Billy bookcase, dies during 86

March 10, 2016 - table lamp

Gillis Lundgren, an industrial engineer who helped make Ikea a largest seat tradesman in a universe with his no-frills designs, many utterly a Billy bookcase that millions of spare book collectors have used to build their home libraries, has died during 86.

Kajsa Johansson, an Ikea spokeswoman, reliable his death, describing him as “a male full of ideas that he fast incited into unsentimental products,” though gave no other details. Quartz repository reported in an online necrology that he died Feb. 25.

Founded in a Swedish panorama in 1943, Ikea grew from an all-purpose, low-cost tradesman for farmers into a corporate behemoth with 328 stores in 28 countries and a reported $35.7 billion in sales in mercantile 2015. Its founder, Ingvar Kamprad, who began his career as an forward teen peddling mail-order nylon stockings and papilla balm, is currently one of a richest group in business.

Mr. Lundgren assimilated Ikea in 1953 as a company’s fourth worker and modernized to spin a initial pattern manager. A draftsman with training in graphics, he designed hundreds of Ikea’s simple, unstable furnishings and was credited with formulating a association logo, an button whose blue and yellow colors were taken from a Swedish flag.

Ikea announces itself along roadways with a appearance of a huge warehouses, also blue and yellow, and in a mail with a attainment of a scarcely warehouse-size catalogues. Every year hundreds of millions of shoppers — new students and new graduates, new tenants and new homeowners, a newly married and a newly divorced — trek into Ikea stores in office of a careful investiture of a household.

“Ideas are perishable,” pronounced Mr. Lundgren. (Ikea)

While few of those people are expected to know Mr. Lundgren’s name, all of them are or will shortly spin proficient with maybe his many poignant grant to a Ikea business model: “flat-pack” furniture.

Ikea was not a initial association to occupy a now-ubiquitous system, though Mr. Lundgren was credited with perfecting it for Ikea’s purposes. He pronounced a thought came to him early in his career. Ikea had recently entered a seat market, he recalled, and “storage space became an issue.”

“When we looked during how we competence keep a vast series of these tables during a low price,” he told a London Independent, “I thought: ‘Why not take off a legs?’ ”

Today, shoppers peruse entirely fabricated Ikea things in showrooms and on a company’s website though take home (or sequence for delivery) boxes that enclose a products in pieces, orderly stacked, to be fabricated on arrival. The flat-pack complement allows Ikea to save income by relocating a products some-more well and business to save money, nonetheless not time, by providing a labor.

To indoctrinate business in assembly, Ikea prints wordless, illustrated manuals featuring cartoon-like total during work. Those total do not seem disposed to a frustrations involving nude screws or blank tools that have helped spin a Ikea customers into a quasi-fraternity.

Many shoppers who enter an Ikea warehouse, no matter how few their effects or how tiny their home, have during slightest a few books to place on a shelf and during slightest one wall opposite that to rest it. Those shoppers might not, however, have a vast volume of income to partial with. And so they might go home with a Billy bookcase, combined by Mr. Lundgren and introduced in 1978.

He was pronounced to have drawn a pattern on a napkin.

“Ideas are perishable,” he once remarked, “and we have to constraint a impulse as shortly as it arrives.”

Billy’s plain shelves of varying heights and widths valid unchangeable and sojourn mostly unvaried from Mr. Lundgren’s strange design. Because of improvements in prolongation efficiency, a product line costs reduction currently than it did during a debut, with one elementary indication on sale for $69.99.

“I wish to emanate solutions for bland formed on people’s needs,” Australian newspapers quoted him as saying. “My products are simple, unsentimental and useful for everyone, no matter how aged we are or what your life situation.”

Gillis Lundgren was innate in Lund, in southern Sweden, in 1929. He complicated during Malmo technical college and assimilated Ikea as a catalog manager. A finish list of his survivors could not immediately be confirmed.

He was credited with conceptualizing or assisting pattern a vaguely mid-century complicated Klippan sofa and Lövbacken table, creatively sole in a 1950s underneath a name Lövet.

Ikea product names, with their plenitude of umlauts and unknown sounds such as Ektorp Jennylund (a chair) and Magnarp (a lamp), are a theme of cult fascination. (The company’s name is an acronym done from a initials of a founder, I.K., followed by a initial letters of a names of a farm, Elmtaryd, and a town, Agunnaryd, where he grew up.)

The Billy, one of a easier names in a Ikea lexicon, was reportedly named for Billy Liljedahl, an promotion co-worker of Mr. Lundgren’s who had voiced a enterprise for a “bookcase only for books.”

According to Quartz, Ikea produces 15 Billy bookcases per notation and had sole some-more than 41 million sets by 2009, after Billy incited 30 — a age during that some Billy owners might select to connoisseur to a higher-end library. Many used Billy bookcases find their approach to new homes, by approach of Craigslist or as family hand-me-downs.

“I’m utterly happy that Billy has done it probable for so many people to build their possess small library,” Mr. Lundgren once said. “In a aged days, books were utterly odd in many homes. These days, everybody has books, that is as it should be.”

Read some-more Washington Post obituaries :

Harold H. Saunders, diplomat in Camp David Accords, Iranian warrant crisis, dies

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Raymond Tomlinson, credited with putting ‘@’ in email, dies during 74

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