IKEA and Space10 – innovating for the future

In this documentary we visit IKEA’s Space10 innovation lab in Copenhagen, to see how the business is using design and innovation to plan for its future and for the future of all our domestic lives.

Space10 is a future living lab and exhibition space set up in a former fish distribution warehouse in the centre of Danish capital Copenhagen.

The lab was made possible by Inter IKEA Systems, but initiated, designed and run by Carla Cammilla Hjort, Simon Caspersen, Kaave Pour and Guillaume Charny-Brunet from the creative studio Rebel Agency, which is also behind the creative platform ArtRebels and the music, art and technology festival Trailerpark Festival. 

The space investigates how life in the rapidly growing cities could look like in the future. It looks at what major challenges will impact people on a global scale and then tries to find solutions to these, working with an ever-growing community of designers, artists, technologists, makers and creatives from around the world. 

External innovation hub

Space10 serves as an external innovation hub for Inter IKEA Systems, in order to constantly develop IKEA as a concept and find new ways of fulfilling the company’s stated overall vision, which is to create a better everyday life for the the many people. 

The first project, as part of the bigger Fresh Living Lab, saw Space10 collaborate with 12 designers from the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design to create a series of conceptual products designed to spark healthier and more sustainable living in urban areas.

These included the Heat Harvest concept, aimed at taking the heat from electronic goods or from the body and using it to recharge smaller devices like a phone; and the Cloud Burst faucet monitors, which subtly start glowing when the users have taken the amount of water they intended.

“IKEA wanted to be shaken up”

Another project was the Cloud Farm project, developed with Space10 resident Bas van de Poel. This is a connected greenhouse that empowers children to grow a vegetable garden remotely using their phone. Van de Poel also collaborated on the Tomorrow’s Meatball project, a visual exploration of future foods.

Space10 founder Carla Cammilla Hjort says: “IKEA wanted to get out of their normal way of doing things – they wanted to be shaken up. They often tell us: ‘You need to challenge us – if you don’t challenge us, we don’t need you any more.”

We visited the Space10 innovation lab to find out more about why it was set up, what it is doing and how IKEA is using its findings.

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