IKEA’s Research Lab Space10 Closes after Successful Decade of Design Evolution

Space10, IKEA's design research lab, is gearing up for closure, pointing to the successful fulfillment of its initial goals. Based in Copenhagen, the studio will officially dissolve on September 1, marking the culmination of almost ten years dedicated to pioneering innovation-driven projects for the Inter IKEA Group, the governing body responsible for IKEA's operations. Here is a detailed report on SURFACES REPORTER (SR).

According to a statement from the studio, their aim to introduce an outside-in approach to innovation into the furniture retail sector has been accomplished. As per Kaave Pour, Co-founder, Space10, the studio’s intention was never for longevity, and their mission has been realized after a decade of collaboration with IKEA. Simon Caspersen, Co-founder, reportedly revealed that Space10 surpassed their original objectives since its inception in 2014. At that time, innovation wasn’t a primary focus for IKEA, and Space10’s role was to ignite an innovation culture, which has indeed taken root over the years.

Space10, a private company co-owned by several individuals including Pour and Caspersen, was funded by IKEA and exclusively served the company. Their work delved into subjects shaping the future design of homes and urban spaces. Notable projects encompassed concepts like Tomorrow’s Meatball, which explored the future of food production, and Urban Village proposing new housing ownership models. Space10’s remarkable accomplishments include the development of the IKEA Place augmented reality app, which significantly contributed to IKEA’s urban store strategy and the offering of sustainable, healthier food choices. The lab also established temporary exhibitions and workspaces globally in cities like New Delhi, New York, London, Mexico City and Shanghai.

As part of their wind-down, Space10 has made their projects, reports, templates, guidelines and team handbook available to the public through an open-source website. Space10’s 23-member team will reportedly conclude their work after September 1, marking the end of an era for this innovative design lab.

Image credit: Space10

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