We're starting to become real breakfast professionals.
Today we discover that early in the morning there are not only white, but also brown mini-buns. I feel a certain thrill while I help myself to this early bird delight. Then I have to stop and wonder; when have I stopped observing and started participating in this IKEA experience? In just two days we have created our own little rituals: One of us looks for a good location in the restaurant while the other collects the breakfast. When other people leave, we move up towards the more wanted seats near the window in the sun. As we will notice again and again today: It is not easy to look at IKEA without being absorbed by it.
We decide to spend the rest of the day in IKEA; to spend 12 hours inside the store without buying anything.
The first difficulty we encounter is that when we walk around, we immediately get drawn to this or that product in the racks, saying: "Wow, this is really well thought of.", or: "This is just outright crap!". We try to look at IKEA's cultural and political influences, but all we see are products which look nicely designed and consumer friendly.
We decide to follow customers and try to look through their eyes, in this way creating a distance between us and the products. Our first unknowing victim is a middle aged man with a long brown coat, who is apparently looking for a new kitchen. He is opening and closing cupboards to feel the click. Slowly his hand slides over the sink, smooth and warm: it looks like stone, but it is made out of chipboard.
Looking from a distant living room, we see him opening the fridge and looking for a beer. It is almost like in a dream, like he projects his own life in this filmset-like environment. Could I imagine coming home to a place like this? How would it feel and how would that life be?
Maybe this is a reason why it is so hard to look at IKEA, it doesn't feel like a store, it's more like visiting a fictional person or a lot of fictional persons, which could be you. Instead of a customer you feel more like a guest and it's not easy to critically question your host.
Also the feeling that the environment is not real, but more like a dream state, makes it harder to perceive IKEA as company that actually influences it's environment.
At 18.00 h, after 9 hours of IKEA we are too tired to even try looking through the surface and with another 3 opening hours to go, we allow ourselves to go home. Without buying anything.