IKEA and student accommodation

Yesterday me and my girlfriend paid IKEA the first trip this semester. Impressed by how IKEA is able to turn almost any size room into a decent living area I tend to think about the how this knowledge could be applied. IKEA’s show rooms are about 30-45 square meters in which they in some cases fit a bathroom, bedroom, living room, kitchen and even a little storage room. It immediately made me draw parallels to how student accommodation is furnished. Here in Trondheim there is an organization (SIT) which provides cheap, small student rooms – and they maintaing about 3000 rooms. There are 4-5 rooms pr. appartment, each about 10 square meters and designed only for work area and bedroom – the rest they share.

What surprises me here is that IKEA is experts (almost god-like:) in furnishing small rooms – SIT has alot of small rooms, which, unsurprisingly, is desperate for some good design. Wouldn’t this be a perfect oppurtunity for some collaboration? I’m no expert in marketing or business – but I would believe having, say, a high-rise appartment building as a show room – situated, and used by, the primary target group would be good marketing business for IKEA. Offcourse there is a tremendous cost involved – but IKEA has some money and knowledge, and I believe SIT has to. IKEA’s marketing budget can’t be to slim – at least not in Kobe (jp) where they did a similar marketing approach for metros.

Is this a good idea? Is it feasible – both economically and socially?