Product design has often reflected the social and economic climate of the times. Yet instead of being a reflection of the outside world, one company seeks to drive change in order to improve the lives of consumers.
In November 2015, the Swedish retail giant IKEA opened Space10, an innovative design incubator set to bring together forward-thinking individuals from design, art, technology, manufacturing and social communities in order to discover new perspectives on issues surrounding daily life.
Incorporating themes such as “Fresh Living” and “Body Awareness”, collaborators participate in a variety of “labs”, including workshops, design residencies and more. This is done in order to discover the challenges each theme represents and to create product concepts that could alleviate or solve issues in a sustainable way, ultimately improving quality of life.
So, what could this mean for the future of products, design and retailing? Some of the conceptual products and ideas developed at Space10 are:
- The Oron alarm clock— This product wakes you up with sounds of nature and a slight breeze from the incorporated fan, meant to mimic the idea of waking up in the great outdoors. It is designed to help urban dwellers reconnect with nature.
- The Heat Harvest table – This product collects heat from hot objects placed on it (like a pot of coffee), and converts that heat into electric output.
- The Cloud Burst shower faucet – This is an adjustable shower control that glows when a user has reached a pre-selected time limit for his or her shower. It can also collect usage data, allowing the user to monitor the amount of water and adjust his or her shower time accordingly, thereby saving resources and money.