Meet Ikea’s human catalogue.
Yanjaa Wintersoul has memorised all 328 pages and 4,818 items of Ikea’s new 2018 catalogue — in just one week.
But Wintersoul, who hails from Sweden, is not your average 23-year-old.
Ikea roped the two-time World Memory Champion into its clever marketing campaign with an email.
“Ikea just sent me the catalogue and said good luck, let’s see if you can do this in a week!” she told Mashable.
Obviously, we had to test her, and picked at random the scene in pages 92-93.
“It’s a kitchen, there are wall shelves…there’s checkered floor [tiles] and a giant trash can. The room is a grey-ish black theme but with an element of yellow — there’s a citrus plant near the window,” she said.
Next, we asked for a recommendation for a standard white desk. She tells us to flip to page 216, called Pahl, a height-adjustable table.
“It’s great because you can grow with it, so it’s suitable for adults or kids,” she explained.
She’s right, of course.
Wintersoul first started teaching herself memory techniques when she was in university in Stockholm.
“I was trying to finish my business degree in half the time it usually takes. I accidentally found this book teaching memory techniques…and they explained how easy it is and I thought maybe I could do it too,” she said.
From then on, things started “happening very fast,” and Wintersoul soon entered the World Memory Championships where she won gold — twice.
Earlier this year, she also appeared on Sweden’s Got Talent where she showed off her impressive skills.
She does not have a photographic memory
“I learnt a technique called the memory palace. Say if you have a list of things that you want to learn in a certain order, you put them through a journey in your mind.
“If you have to remember three countries, let’s say China, U.S. and Brazil, then maybe on your bed you’re eating Chinese food, on your nightstand there’s a hamburger and then a window and you see a soccer ball. If you make it more of a fun story that’s relatable, then it’s easier to remember.”
Wintersoul adds that she uses these “creative” memory techniques, and does not have a photographic memory.
“A lot of people ask me, is there [such a thing as] a photographic memory? And I say no — many people even claim to have it and I say if you have it, come [compete] with me…and they always finish last,” she said.
She will also be doing a Facebook Live, where users can test her in real-time, for themselves.
“I’m so excited for the Live…people asked me if it’s staged and I’m like no, I haven’t been winning medals by faking it,” she said.
But if you’re still not convinced, test Wintersoul for yourself on Wednesday, Sep. 6, at 5 p.m. (GMT+8) on Ikea Singapore’s Facebook page.