Ikea shoppers know to expect catalog-ready showrooms promoting a domestic perfection they can admire and aspire to. But for recent customers at the retailer’s Norwegian flagship store in Slependen, there was a home on display unlike any other.
Featuring cinder-blocked walls, sparse furniture, and dim lighting, “25m2 Syria” is a pop-up replica of a real home outside Damascus, Syria, belonging to a family of nine caught amidst the country’s devastating civil war. Created by ad agency POL in collaboration with Ikea, the installation aims to promote Norway’s annual fundraising event “tv-aksjonen,” which will give all proceeds to the Red Cross.
Just like the picture-perfect model rooms in the store, the 270-square-foot replica Syrian home is also labeled with various description and price tags—only instead of purchasing info, customers will find snapshots of Syrians’ daily lives and specific donation instructions.