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IKEA ThisAbles: Hacking the (Accessible) Home

Starting out with an in-store hack-a-thon, IKEA Israel launched the ThisAbles project to make its most popular products more usable for customers with disabilities. From larger lamp controls to glass protecting bumpers to grab handles for curtains, this dialogue with the community turned into a line of 13 products that directly address real needs in the home. All ThisAbles items are freely available to be printed anywhere in the world and IKEA is actively seeking suggestions to expand the collection – addressing further shortcomings and making their furniture all the more comfortable for everyone along the way.

IKEA received such positive reactions to the ThisAbles project that they also partnered with UNYQ and Area Academy to develop 3D printable accessories for gamers and esports players with differing abilities.

Assignment Idea: Universal Design for All


Review the definition of Universal Design and the elements. Hold Universal Design in the forefront of your mind as you brainstorm with your group to identify common problems that disabled individuals have with common everyday items. Choose one item to improve the accessibility through group collaboration, design and development, and final project.

How does the current design affect their access? Could the access be difficult for non-disabled individuals? How could the everyday item be adjusted/modified to provide access to all?

Subject Areas

Industrial Design, Marketing, Nursing, Physical Therapy


  • a sketch of the specific modifications made to the object
  • a 3D render of the modified object calling out the specific parts added to increase universal usability (optional)
  • a 3D printed prototype of the modifications (optional)
  • a short pitch video created in the One Button Studio or through Zoom detailing the benefits of your design