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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hjort was contacted by global CEO of Inter Ikea Systems Torbjörn Lööf to "co-strategise a better future for 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.
"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.
Related story: Piet Hein Eek begins long-term collaboration with Ikea
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.
"We feel a real connection to the bigger purpose of Space10," said Ikea concept innovation manager Göran Nilsson.
"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.
"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."
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.
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