IKEA is a widely recognized brand and it is not your usual furniture store. By some, it is considered to be a social phenomenon. Every year it provides services for 655 million customers who can choose from 9.5 thousand items located on shelf of 389 stores.

Thus, it is not surprising that IKEA Poland’s team responsible for opening new stores is constantly looking for new solutions and work methods supporting the development of ideas and experience design.

This time in order to work out specific solution proposals connected with the idea of Circular Economy for opening a new store, we decided to implement a quick design process, namely the Design Sprint.

Our goal was to support the team in creating a single specific concept for a place related to a new IKEA store. A place that would combine IKEA’s values with the main idea of Circular Economy, and which at the same time offers a unique and engaging experience.

To achieve our goal, we designed and developed the process, tools and prepared the participants. Then we conducted a two-day long Design Sprint and compiled a report summarizing the effects of our work.

What’s a Design Sprint?

Design Sprint is a quick design process described in 2016 by Jake Knapp (Google Ventures) in a book titled Sprint.Solvin big problems and test news ideas in just five days. A well-rounded process should last five days; it is a desired but frequently impossible scenario, though. We often limit it to two or three workshops days as it is much easier to organize it that way in real life.


Firstly, we met with IKEA’s team in order to specify challenges and issues that we were supposed to focus our work during Design Sprint on.

Afterwards, we analyzed a lot of materials, research and papers on Circular Economy as a part of the research phase.

Owing to that, we were able to understand our task which allowed us to prepare a set of specific tools supporting the work (work-sheets, choice of effective methods for activating the participants, choice of moderators supporting the group etc.).

In the end, we have designed a two-day long design process engaging three groups of five people each consisting of IKEA’s team members and external experts from the area od Circular Economy.

Design Sprint in real life

Design process was divided into stages taking into account main ideas of DS.

During the first day, we focused on:

Each group was supervised by a dedicated moderator and worked on specific tasks in short periods of time utilizing prepared worksheets.

A main facilitator run and framed the workshops which allowed us to keep track of time and effectively engage its participants in using it to their advantage.

Outcomes and summary of work
A prototype of a space promoting the idea of Circular Economy for one of newly opened IKEA stores was the end product of our workshops. In addition, we designed a map of activities that need to be undertaken in order to implement this concept.

If you happen to have a business challenge or issue that you face with little time ahead of you, utilize Design Sprint and in two, three or five days you get a specific solution tested with the users. Feel free to contact us!