Space10 – Ikea’s innovative research and design lab – is closing
After nearly a decade of exploring ways in which design can help to solve pressing environmental and social issues, Space10 is closing its doors.
- Olivia Hingley
- 29 August 2023
Space10, Ikea’s research and design lab, will close on 31 August 2023. Opening its doors in November 2015 in the meatpacking district of Copenhagen, Space10 was established to explore the intersections of creativity, science and technology, looking into innovative design solutions to some of the world’s most pressing environmental and social issues.
In nearly a decade, the lab was been shortlisted for more than 120 design awards, with Fast Company recognising it as one of the world’s most innovative design companies. It has also had work exhibited at London’s Design Museum, Biennale of Architecture in Shenzhen, UN-Habitat HQ in Nairobi and The Smithsonian in Washington DC. Alongside a small core permanent team, Space10 included individuals from all over the world in its mission, with ideas, concepts and visions all being shared openly with the public.
“The collaboration between Space10 and Inter Ikea Group has been a great learning with multifaceted achievements and outcomes over the years,” says Jon Abrahamsson Ring, CEO of Inter Ikea Group. “Space10 has challenged our mindset of thinking outside the box, they have been our eyes around the corner looking into the future, facilitating new partnerships and business ventures, helping us investigate how we can create a better everyday life for many people.”
Over the years, Space10’s projects have been diverse and expansive. In 2019, it launched Future Food for Today, a cookbook that investigates more environmentally conscious and sustainable ways of producing and consuming food. The book won a Gourmand World Cookbook Award for most innovative cookbook. In 2020, it launched Everyday Experiments, a series of prototypes which envisioned how tech might change the way we interact with our homes. In 2021, it released The Ideal City: Exploring Urban Futures, a book exploring how to create a “better everyday life” in our cities. After publication, it was turned into an interactive exhibition which premiered at the Barbican Centre, before a worldwide tour. In June this year, the lab developed a flat-pack 100 per-cent recyclable sofa that fits into an envelope.
To pay homage to nearly 10 years of innovation, a new website has been created to showcase stand-out work from the lab between 2015-2023; it will make all of Space10’s internal presentation templates, guidelines and team handbook available for the general public as well as giving access to open-source projects and exhibitions.
“Space10 was never meant to last and – after a decade working with Ikea – we have achieved what we initially set out to accomplish. We feel immensely proud to have influenced one of the biggest design companies in the world while making our ideas portable and shaping conversations in everything from technology, design, architecture and food,” says Kaave Pour, co-founder and head of Space10. “We know the vision and values of Space10 will continue to spread to new places and organisations via our incredible team, the 500 partners we’ve worked with throughout the years and by the 250,000 people in our community. Space10 will only close as a company, while the mission lives on.”
Space10: Copenhagen HQ – Photo by Hampus Berndtson (Copyright © Space10)
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.