Ikea launches Space10 innovation lab to explore the future of home design


Furniture giant Ikea has launched a research hub and exhibition space in Copenhagen to test product prototypes and ways of boosting consumers' wellbeing (+ slideshow).

Space 10 by Ikea

Ikea's Space10 will partner with individuals from the worlds of art, design, and technology on a series of research projects that will result in a range of prototypes, as well as exhibitions, events and workshops.

Space 10 by Ikea

Its first project, called Fresh Living Lab, has seen the furniture giant partner with 12 designers from the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design.

The team has created a series of conceptual products designed to improve health and wellbeing in city environments, as well as monitor and reduce energy consumption. These are being displayed in an exhibition of living spaces at Space10, hidden among standard Ikea products.

Space 10 by Ikea

The Heat Harvest device can be integrated into furniture to divert heat generated by electronic goods or hot tableware to recharge phones, and the smART wall hanging loses colour to alert homeowners to their use of water and electricity.

Space 10 by Ikea
Inside Space10, Ikea are exhibiting prototypes such as this smART wall hanging that loses colour to alert homeowners to their use of water and electricity

The Cloud Burst faucet monitors water flow and glows red to let the user know when they have reached their allotted amount of time in the shower, to help conserve water.

Space 10 by Ikea
The Cloud Burst faucet glows red to let the user know when they have reached their allotted amount of time in the shower

The Vayü window attachment can open or close the windows of a house, depending on air pollution levels outside. Other designs include a chair that monitors movement with a smartphone app and raises its seat to encourage sedentary workers to be more active.

Space 10 by Ikea
This chair raises its seat to encourage sedentary workers to be more active

As well as exhibiting the prototypes, Space10 is hosting a bar that seeks to address food consumption and production, by letting visitors customise and press their own snack bars in partnership with food designer Bo Lindegaard.

Space 10 by Ikea

The lab has been set up by Carla Cammilla Hjort, who also founded and runs creative platform Art Rebels, music and arts event Trailerpark Festival and creative studio Rebel Agency.

Space 10 by Ikea

Hjort was contacted by global CEO of Inter Ikea Systems Torbjörn Lööf to "co-strategise a better future for Ikea".

Space 10 by Ikea

"We have tried to create the optimal conditions for a fast-paced, visionary and bold environment to foster and conceptualise radical ideas that we can test fast," said Hjort.

Space 10 by Ikea

"Space10 is also a place where Ikea employees can go to get inspired, gain new perspectives and discover new talents and ideas that they might want to invest in and bring forward," she added.

The 1,000-square-metre space is hosted in a former fishery in Copenhagen's meatpacking district, which has been renovated by Danish design studio Spacon & X.

Space 10 by Ikea

The lab is decorated with hacked Ikea furniture, and Ikea goods. Artist and designer Maaike Fransen has repurposed inflatable Ikea balls and blankets to create a cloud-shaped sofa.

Space 10 by Ikea

"We feel a real connection to the bigger purpose of Space10," said Ikea concept innovation manager Göran Nilsson.

Space 10 by Ikea

"Ikea already does a lot to improve the lives of the many people, and with Space10 we hope to take this vision even further," he added.

Space 10 by Ikea

"Whether or not the solutions are immediately relevant to our current business is not important. What matters is to look into new directions and be ready to make changes."

Space 10 by Ikea

The lab continues Ikea's ongoing series of collaborations, which have seen the Swedish retailer work with London designer Ilse Crawford, and initiate a partnership with Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek.

  • com_on

    Very soon, securing the services of an architect would be an exclusive enterprise. With Google (Nestlabs) working on climatic control, 3D printing and pre-fab becoming increasingly standardised, and Ikea now conceptualising home design, it’s only a matter of time.

    In the (very near) future, you’ll download Google software for free. Give them your idea of your house, pay a licence/design fee for designs, give your designs to Ikea to conceptualise and customise an interior, a construction company to pre-fab the parts, and a builder (or even the construction company) to put the design together.

    Once done, Ikea will send your interior. You’ll probably end up saving a significant amount of time and money.

    • mike del forno

      That is not what architects do. Interior designers or interior decorators maybe. In a more ambitious case, perhaps interior architects, but not actual architects.

      I realise it’s just a matter of semantics but I thought I’d point out the distinction nonetheless.

    • richardvahrman
  • urban_wanderer

    How about household designs that make life easier for the disabled and elderly? The photos here tend to favour the young and able-bodied.

  • Ivor

    Ikea are very good at keeping itself relevant to changing demographics, technologies and economic situations. Big retailers should learn from Space10.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Many concerns have announced this “explore the future of… ” Then, that’s the last that’s heard of it.

  • Madelaine Berlis

    Hey everyone, if you feel like joining the Space10 community Amsterdam we would like to invite you to the Futurethon about the future of living! See the Space10 website for more info: https://www.space10.io/program/exploring-the-future-of-living-through-storytelling-by-making