Ikego Cobuilding Guide

Ikego Cobuilding Guide →

Ikego is about a community around sustainable products made from multipurpose parts. Build it with us.

Join as:

Customer

Buy Ikego products or have them made for you by a local craftsperson.

Designer

Design and share Ikego models as part of your business, or just for fun.

Manufacturer

Manufacture and sell Ikego products small or large scale.

Maker

Build and progress Ikego worlds.

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“It’s like IKEA met LEGO, just owned by many.”

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Hello Customer 

Our site shows you where to get IKEGO products and how to rebuild them to something else.  Hack your home; build your creative life.

For each model in the catalog, there is a list of stores around the world that sell it. If a model is not available in your country, it is not the end for you. Find a local handyman to make it for you as a → “local make”. 

Some Ikego designs are so simple you can build them yourself after getting just a few off the shelf parts.

Campaign with us.

Campaign with us: Ikego is a means to change the world of design towards sustainability. Spread the word. Invite local handyman, companies and friends. Share your excitement. #Ikego #multipurpose

Every local make grows the ecosystem. Activist shopping now. 

Designer

Reinvent the world! Become an Ikego model designer, and build a business around it.

“What is the ambition?
To be bigger than IKEA in 10 years.”
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Here are some reasons and benefits: 

  • Ikego elevates you. Ikego is about marketing. We aim to bring attention to Ikego designs and, most importantly, to their creators! Most pages hide the designer’s name. Here it is one of the most visible pieces of information.
  • Make money. Ikego is a tool for your professional work, and a means to be outstanding and different in your field. There are several ways to make money using and contributing to the system. Read about them below ↓
  • Lead the new platform. Imagine for a moment that Ikego works very well and becomes a large, unique platform for a new way of designing, buying and using products. History has shown that creators who join new platforms early (like Instagram, YouTube and others) have an unfair advantage over late comers. It’s now almost impossible to get big on Instagram. The early movers grew with the platform and stayed on top. Ikego hopes to grow to a stage where it can reward big creators for their contributions (for example, if a part they contributed is used a lot and creates a lot of value). It’s easier to take big steps in the beginning.
  • Be an exciting revolutionary. Ikego is a collaborative approach to powerful, sustainable and circular design. Environmental problems such as climate change and biodiversity loss are directly or indirectly related to design. Ikego changes the world of design. Be part of it. Design for tomorrow, not yesterday. Be “one of the things coming”. Create solutions, not more problems.
  • It’s low risk. You don’t risk much by contributing. Because the model you create stays yours. If Ikego stops working for you, you still have a working modular product that you can use like any other product. The connection to Ikego is a potential surplus. But your product works without it as well. 
  • Ikego designers club. Once you’ve contributed a model, you become a member of the Ikego Designers Club. For now, it is basically a chat group that shares insights and opportunities such as jobs, research grants and so on. It could develop into the decentralised ‘Ikego design studio’ that companies can turn to when they want to have products designed for them to put into the system.
“What is the ambition?
To be bigger than IKEA in 10 years.”

We play to win.

This is how branding works with Ikego. Ikego is not the brand of the product, it is a quality of the product. As a designer, you can request that your name be added to the credit list. “URI. An Ikego model by Anton Wunder. By BARA”

It’s done with three simple steps:

1. Build a functional prototype

  • Ikego requires a functional prototype of your design. You don’t need to have an aesthetic or manufacturing prototype done. But make sure your design/concept works as intended. The model should be a bit different from those already in the catalog. A couple of upgrades might be enough, very small changes might not be enough. If in doubt reach out

2. Use existing Ikego parts

  • Use parts from the Ikego parts catalog. They are all open and free to use. You can also add new parts. They should be useful for more than one thing and you will need to document them so that they can be added to the catalogue. For more info read below in “How to add a part” ↓. 

3. Publish it on the web

  • Publish your design on the web in a place you like – your website, a platform, a social media site… From there we will copy key information to the Ikego page and link for more details to your publication. This is not a platform where you create an account and upload something. It is about promoting your page. Ikego works decentralised. You need to include some key info ↓ in your post. Once your post is up send us an email. We’ll check it and repost it here. But feel free to reach out earlier for help in your design process.
Click here to see what to include

Design your post any way you like. Just make sure you have these 5 pieces of information somewhere:

  1. the name of the model,
  2. at least one image of 940x940px or larger,
  3. list of the parts from the catalog you used (include their numbers and link to their pages). If you add new parts list them here too and share/link to the documentation you have created for them.
  4. Have you filed for any intellectual property for your model or do you plan to so it? Let people know. It could look like this: “IP protected: Yes” (if you have filed for an IP right let us know for which one for example design rights or patent” | “IP protected: Undecided.” (if you are still not sure if you want to file for protection) | “IP protected: No and not planned” (if you don’t have any plans to make your design exclusive by filing for IP protection). If you don’t know what this means read read about IP here or contact us.
  5. Do you allow professional local makes? If yes, would you like to receive a donation for a make? If so, please indicate the amount you would like to receive per make and a channel to send the money through to you (e.g. paypal.me, gofundme, patreon or something similar). Don’t forget to include your contact email in case manufacturers want to get in touch. 
  6. Optional: You could include a disclaimer. It is a means to protect you in the very, very unlikely event that someone builds your model, does damage with it, and tries to blame you. This is not something specific to Ikego, it could happen to you when ever you post publicly. Copy & paste this: “Disclaimer: This model is just a concept and not fully tested. You should not assume that it works as indicated and I am not saying that it does. I disclaim any responsibility or liability for any damage caused during the construction and use of products based in whole or in part on the concept shown here. All information is provided for your use at your own risk.”

For inspiration, take a look at the models in the catalog. They all have a link to their “original post by the designer” in their design info-section.



That’s it.

Just three things: 

1. As part of a model

  • Parts are added alongside a model that uses the part. Parts without a connection to a model won’t be added.

2. Multipurpose

  • The goal of Ikego is to discover and use multipurpose parts. It should be somehow clear how your new part potentially could be used in other models too. We created a short post with → part design suggestions that might help you. Some parts such as fasteners are obviously multipurpose. For others it may be necessary to show other uses. But don’t worry, exceptions are always possible. But not in too large numbers. When in doubt, reach out.
Ideally the list of parts is much smaller than the list of models built with it. Let’s invent and use those parts.

3. Document it

  • You’ll need to create documentation for your part and share it on the web in a place you like. Below you can see the key information ↓ to include. It is as simple as possible and necessary to make your part work within the Ikego world.
Click here to see the info to provide

Design your post as you see fit. Just make sure the info below is included. For design inspiration browse the catalog, all parts have a link to their original/submission post. 

9 lines of info, explanations below

Basic Info

  • Image:  At least one image 940x940px or bigger. (1) 
  • What is it: … for example “a board”  (2)
  • Material: …  for example “flexible | standard tolerance (3)
  • Dimensions: … for example “380x230x15mm | standard tolerance(4)
  • Holes: … for example “Ikego Grid, 4 holes ⌀ 10mm” (5)

Get the part

  • Buy: Two options. Option 1: “available as local make plus readily available in (name store/s),”Option 2: “available as local make plus readily available in stores, search for (add search term)” (6)
  • Make: … for example “find wood, cut it, drill it” (7)

Meta

  • Introduced by:for example “Art Vandelay” (8)
  • Open: Two options. Option 1: “I, as the designer of this part publish it under the Ikego Public Promise Version 1.0 shorter “Shared under IPP 1.0.  Option 2: “I bought this part off the shelf. It might be prior art but I don’t guarantee this.” (9)
  • Disclaimer: “This part is just a concept and not fully tested. You should not assume that it works as indicated and I am not saying that it does. I disclaim any responsibility or liability for any damage caused during the construction and use of products based in whole or in part on the concept shown here. All information is provided for your use at your own risk.” (10)

Explanations

(1) You should own the rights to the image or give us an image under an open license we we can use. Don’t worry about removing the background. We’ll do that.
(2) What is it: Give it some kind of name “board” or “beam” or “knot”
(3) Tolerance: Ikego works with → tolerance to enable local manufacture from local materials. So you don’t write “wood” but “Strong material” which is wood but also metal or plastic for example. The part can be made from all materials unless you add specific requirements here for example “magnetic” or “foamy but durable!”
(4) Tolerance: Ikego works with → tolerance to enable local manufacture with local tools that might not be high precision. So under the standard tolerance the dimensions of a part can vary up to 15 mm on all sides. If your part deviates from this, e.g. because the height must always be exactly the same so that it fits together with other parts, write that here. Otherwise, just leave the link to ‘standard tolerance’ as it is. Complex parts should include drawings to make their dimensions understandable.
(5) Holes: Does the part have holes? If so, how many and what diameter? And do the holes follow the → Ikego grid? Complex parts may require a drawing to show the location of the holes. If your part doesn’t have any holes, just leave it out.
(6) Buy: Can your part be bought anywhere? Have you bought it? Feel free to list specific shops or search terms. Anything that will help people order the part. If it can’t be bought, leave the “local make” comment and link here.
(7) Make: Feel free to add information that will help people make this part. If you don’t have any, just leave this part out.
(8) Your name is important. Especially for parts you made yourself. If your name is obvious – for example because it is your personal website – feel free to leave this part out.
(9) If you made the part yourself, no matter how simple it is, you must choose option one here. If you bought the part off the shelf, choose option 2. Make sure you understand what this means, it is about your → intellectual property to the part.
(10) The disclaimer is optional. 

Copy, Paste & Edit

Copy & paste this to your website and edit

Basic Info

Get the part

  • Buy: Option 1: “available as local make” Option 2: “available as local make plus readily available in (NAME STORE/S),” Option 3: “available as local make plus readily available in stores, search for (ADD SEARCH TERM/S)”
  • Make: no instructions available

Meta

  • Introduced by: 
  • Open: Option 1: “I, as the designer of this part publish it under the Ikego Public Promise Version 1.0” shorter “Shared under IPP 1.0.“  Option 2: “I bought this part off the shelf. It might be prior art but I don’t guarantee this.”
  • Disclaimer: This part is just a concept and not fully tested. You should not assume that it works as indicated and I am not saying that it does. I disclaim any responsibility or liability for any damage caused during the construction and use of products based in whole or in part on the concept shown here. All information is provided for your use at your own risk.

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That’s it.

There are several ways to use Ikego to earn money.

  • Use it for your client work. If you design for clients, why not use the Ikego System for the job? You give them “more bang for their buck”, a superior product with a free product service system attached. To introduce them to the idea and convince them, use the arguments below in the manufacturer’s brief, shared in “Why should I do this? They are quite powerful. 
  • Get a manufacturer later. If you don’t have a client right now you can still design and add a model. It’s Ikegos goal to convince manufacturers to pick up designs from the catalog for mass production. Matchmaking. Once they’re interested, they’ll contact you and you can make a deal with them, as is customary in the design world. Note that your chances of getting a good deal increase if you actually have IP rights to your model.
  • Donations for local makes. With Ikego, your products are available for purchase from day one. Customers are encouraged to take your design to a local handyman and have it made for them locally. The handyman sends a small portion of the money he makes as a “donation” to you.
  • Commissioned work. Ikego focusses a lot on marketing. The aim is to attract attention and interest in the system. As described above, the designers’ names are at the centre of everything. You’ll become visible as a contributor to innovative and fun sustainable design. This could lead to opportunities for you. For example, if your local museum wants to build its next exhibition using sustainable Ikego solutions. You are the local expert for that system and they hire you. This and much more is possible. Let’s build this brand together and profit from it. Become an “Ikego designer”.
  • Grants. Ikego is a strong approach to sustainable change and enables a lot of exciting research. There are several grants available to support this type of work and/or research. One possibility is to create an educational project. It was a funded education project that made the first experiments on Ikego possible many years ago. But education is just one area among others.

Ikego does not claim any intellectual property rights to your model contributions. You keep full control, just as you would outside Ikego. Feel free to protect your design using any means available to you.

Just the parts you add need to be made open. So that others can enjoy the same (commercial) freedoms with your part as you enjoy with all the parts in the catalog. To understand all this better, please read here → How intellectual property works with Ikego



The Ikego Professionals Newsletter

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Manufacturer & Sellers

Make and sell Ikego products. Ikego invites manufacturers big and small to make products based on Ikego models and parts. Join the ecosystem. 

Sell next generation
products.
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Seven reasons

  • Target group. Ikego is mainly aimed at young, creative, active people who are building their first home and have children or are about to have children. You tap into the target group that made IKEA a billion dollar company. But you have the better offer for them. Because your furniture is interactive. IKEA suddenly looks old compared to you.
  • Product-Service-System to connect to for free. Every Ikego product consists of parts that have a digital twin. The parts have different use cases that create more possibilities and more value for your customers. And thanks to Ikego’s open innovation process, the list of use cases is constantly growing. You sell them a product that gets better and more useful over time! A much better deal for them, more reasons to buy from you.
  • Sustainable. The political and societal pressure on companies to move towards sustainability is growing in many areas of the world. Actors such as the EU are constantly introducing new laws that force companies to adopt sustainable and circular practices. Ikego enables you to be ahead in the game. Leapfrog several steps. Join an ecosystem of sustainable companies early on and outgrow the old world.
  • Marketing synergies. Ikego invests heavily in marketing. This brings attention to the Ikego system and the products available in it. You will benefit from it. Plus everyone in the network is also marketing the Ikego system alongside their products. This creates synergies. A chair manufacturer benefits from the marketing of a bag manufacturer and vice versa. Together you explain why your products are superior. Someone who has bought an Ikego bed will search for a matching “Ikego chair” and there you are. It may not be long before the ecosystem has a joint marketing budget that far exceeds that of a large multinational corporation.

This is how Ikego works with branding. Ikego is not the brand of the product, it is a quality of the product. Your brand stays front and center, as a high quality producer of products and parts. People will look for you because it ensures quality. 

  • A soft LockIn. When companies trap you in their ecosystem, it is called the lock-in effect. If you have an iPhone, you can’t use the Google Play Store, and your iPhone doesn’t work very well with your Windows computer. You are supposed to buy matching Apple products. Once you are stepped into the Ikego system as a customer, you have incentives to get more involved. The more Ikego products, and therefore multipurpose parts, you have in your home, the more opportunities there are for you. It is a “soft” lock-in because customers can buy Ikego parts and products from other sellers too. But at the moment this group is quite small and the lock-in effect should really benefit you for a long time. 
  • Less overproduction and more business opportunities: Imagine you’ve made chairs that aren’t selling well. With Ikego you don’t have to throw them away or sell them at a loss. Because they are made from multipurpose parts that can be used for other things. Take them apart and use the parts to assemble other products that people want. Or sell the parts individually or as ‘parts packs’ to creative customers. There are more ways to profit from the fact that your production line spits out multipurpose parts than just selling one product.
  • Where is the risk? If you engage with Ikego you get the chance to gain a lot without adding much additional risk. Imagine what could go wrong? Even if Ikego’s promises don’t work for you, you still have a regular product to sell, just like before. You have to make a good product either way. Ikego allows you to add a lot of sugar on top of a great product. 

To get the full picture we recommend to also read how intellectual property works in Ikego and also how we explain to designers why it is worth joining. ↑

Basically yes.

If you want to produce a model in larger quantities (100+ units), please contact the model designer in advance. You’ll find a link to the designer’s original post in the design info section of the model. You’ll find a contact address there.

If you are just a small workshop and want to make small quantities (up to 100 units) – perhaps you have been asked by a customer for a local make – please visit the designer’s original post too. There you’ll find a note if the designer allows local makes and if the designer wants to receive a donation for it. If a donation is requested, include the donation amount in the price you charge your client and forward it to the designer after you receive payment for your work.

The donation system for local makes is is currently based on trust. But please honour it. We’ll all win. And send us pictures of your products. We could list you here as a workshop/shop to order from. Let’s send more customers to you.

If you exceed the hundred units mark, you are out of the “local make” range. Please contact the designer then to negotiate a better deal.

Ikego parts are easy to make and well documented. The assembly of the models is in most cases easy as well. To a skilled builder they don’t present any problems. This allows customers to take a design they like to a local handyman. The handyman makes it for them and gets paid. A small part of the revenue is forwarded to the model designer as a donation. Ikego encourages customers to engage local handyman to produce local makes in order to grow the ecosystem.

But designers can choose to disable local makes. If a model has active IP protection, it is possible to block at least specific executions of a model – for example, an orange chair with round edges. All rights to make and sell this design/product can then go exclusively to one manufacturer. A monopoly is possible. 

However it should be noted that the tolerance methodology may still allow for other commercial makes of the same model if they look different enough – for example, the same chair but in black with sharp edges. This is common practice in the existing design world, not something specific to Ikego. Learn more here. 

So, as a potential local manufacturer of a model, you should always check if the designer allows local makes or if there are any restrictions in place. 

It’s simple. Make a product, put it on digital or physical shelves, then tell us about it via email. We’ll put you on the page.

Listing is free for now.

You can also contact us at an early stage. We are happy to hear your questions and ideas.

* Eventually in the future we might charge a small amount for premium listings. But only if the entry leads enough customers to you to make it worthwhile for you to pay for it. This is one of Ikego’s planned business models to ensure the system runs reliably and sustainably and gets better and better: affiliate marketing for shops.



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Maker

Make and improve Ikego models. Hello Maker. You are welcome to make any Ikego model. All parts are well documented, they should be easy to make. Show us your interpretation, help us discover the potential of Ikego.

You can make as many as you like for yourself or as gifts for friends and family. Just when you start to engage in commercial activities with them (other than professional social media posting or teaching), please also read what is written above for “Manufacturers & Sellers” .

If you take pictures we will be happy to receive them and possibly share them on this page or on social media. Hashtag #ikego

Help us to make Ikego models look beautiful! 
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