The future-living lab Space10

Raphael Rossel • 24.03.2016

Space 10” is a ten minute walk south-west of Copenhagen Central Station. What was once a lobster processing plant is now a three-storey, 1,000m2 building shared by young creative designers. Launched by IKEA and the Danish “Rebel Agency”, the think tank has the task of exploring the future of urban living and developing new models.

The population is growing, especially in urban areas. According to a UN study published last summer, the world’s population will reach 9.7 billion in 2050, with two out of three people living in cities. The UN also calculates that in the worst-case scenario, this could reach 11.2 billion people by 2100. By way of comparison, there are currently 7.4 billion people living on the Earth.

Population growth poses major challenges – and pressing questions, even today. How will the world’s population live if two thirds of people inhabit the cities? How will agriculture be managed and how can we ensure that people will have enough food if expanding cities are swallowing up farmland and cultivated land? And what effect will this development have on the way we live, work and eat?

It was these and other similar questions that led to the founding of Space10. The think tank is the brainchild of Torbjörn Lööf (Managing Director of Inter IKEA Systems), Carla Cammilla Hjort and Simon Caspersen (both from Rebel Agency). The founders want this to be a place where people can reflect on these questions in an experimental and creative way, without having to take political constraints into account.

The idea behind Space10 is best described as a curated collaboration between and meeting place for young designers and creative thinkers from all manner of disciplines. The core team is made up of nine people with a common goal of making innovative use of this extraordinary place. With a view to achieving its primary goal of finding solutions and services for a better and more sustainable future, they decide on what topics to focus on and encourage reflection and discovery through workshops, exhibitions, presentations and readings as well as collaborative creative projects and design residencies. With this experimental set-up, IKEA ultimately hopes to get some answers and initial pointers for new product ideas.

It’s still much too early for that, however: for the time being, playful approaches to methods and ideas are in order, for example with a chair that tells you when it’s time to get up and move around. You may well be intrigued to hear the results of one project currently under way: the people at Space10 are playing around with the idea of how to run a food farm in your own home. We will report on the results and if you want to know more about the projects and experiments at Space10 in the meantime, visit the Space10 website for many more discoveries.