The Youtube channel Never Too Small boasts 2.25 million subscribers — a platform featuring the imaginative manipulation of space in tiny footprints. Videos of micro-apartments, in Paris, London, and beyond, get views in the millions. Clearly, there is a demand for content geared towards living small, as a global housing crisis has precipitated the ever-dwindling availability of affordable, larger-footprint residences in urban areas. Architects, working in this constrained contemporary reality, have been necessitated to make the most out of limited space, configuring sub-40 square-meter floor areas to create a non-claustrophobic spatial experience.
IKEA: The Latest Architecture and News
New Regulations and Private Initiatives are Pushing the Transition to Clean Energy
Following the recent evolution of the climate crisis, policymakers and private companies are getting behind the transition towards clean energy. California is set to mandate solar panels and battery storage for new buildings in a move towards establishing a 100% clean energy grid, while across the US, public schools are redesigned to operate on green energy. In Europe, the EU launched a call to establish an offshore renewable energies working group that would help define the framework for reaching the EU’s ambition of at least 300 GW of offshore wind and 40 GW of ocean energies by 2050. At the same time, furniture manufacturer IKEA announced it would start selling renewable energy to Swedish households.
Dorte Mandrup's Design for IKEA Copenhagen Features a Rooftop Park
Catering to the Danish capital's aspirations regarding infrastructure and green space, the new IKEA store in Copenhagen designed by architecture studio Dorte Mandrup features a richly plated rooftop park that doubles as a new pedestrian route stretching one kilometre within Vesterbro neighbourhood. Located in one of the city's busiest area, neighbouring the central station, the historic Meatpacking District, and the inner-city harbour, the project's elevated public space offers a respite from the bustling streets, providing the area with a much needed green space.
SPACE10 Creates Open-Source Bee Homes for World Bee Day
IKEA’s research and design lab SPACE10 has created a new open source Bee Home. Working with Bakken & Bæck and designer Tanita Klein, the team has launched the free Bee Home project to coincidence with the United Nations International Bee Day. The project takes advantage of digital fabrication and parametric design so that people can design and fabricate their own Bee Home locally.
Innovative, Car Free and Green: Images of the New IKEA Austria Store Revealed
IKEA Austria is establishing a car-free city center store, in the heart of Vienna. Addressing global issues, IKEA’s newest building will cater to the changes in customer and mobility behaviors.
IKEA Explores Future Urban Living for the Many
Some assembly required for this vision of future urban living. Known for simple, well-designed, flat-pack furniture, IKEA is proposing expanding their DIY-model to a much larger scale: entire city centers. Democratic Design Days is an annual event where IKEA introduces its upcoming brands and collaborations, this year featuring The Urban Village Project, a collaboration between SPACE10 and EFFEKT Architects. After two years of research, SPACE10 (IKEA’s global research and design lab) is releasing their vision to the public for a new way to design, build, and share our homes, neighborhoods, and cities.
IKEA and Tom Dixon Explore Urban Farming with "Gardening Will Save the World"
Tom Dixon and IKEA have developed “Gardening Will Save The World,” an experiment in urban farming to be exhibited at the Chelsea Flower Show in London. Exploring the contrast of the hyper-natural and hyper-tech, the garden offers ideas in alternative, local, and more sustainable ways of growing food.
These 13 Designs by IKEA Make Life Easier (and More Equitable) for Differently-Abled People
Architects' general ignorance about the needs and requirements of people with special needs is worrisome. Beyond complying with mandatory regulations (different in each country), the quality of life for different-abled people depends on specific and daily factors that go beyond a railing or a ramp, and are often left in the hands of professionals who have never dealt with such issues.
This Ables, a project developed by IKEA and the non-profit organizations Milbat and Access Israel, provides an excellent resource for how to create an equitable design in the smallest and simplest of details. From door handles that are can be opened with a forearm to a couch lift that enables users to sit down and get up easily, these 13 products are available to the general public on ThisAbles.com. Some products can even be 3D-printed independently.
See the video below for more details of the project.
IKEA's Research Lab SPACE10 Designs a Solar Village to Rethink Renewable Energy
IKEA’s research and design laboratory SPACE10 has unveiled their latest project, SolarVille, to showcase new ways to democratize access to clean, renewable energy. Based in Copenhagen, the team partnered with blockchain experts BLOC, Blocktech, WeMoveIdeas India and architecture practice SachsNottveit. The project explores how combining new technologies with solar power can make clean energy more affordable. The vision centers on cooperative micro-grids where homeowners can become makers and traders of clean energy.
IKEA and Tom Dixon Collaborate to Design Products for Urban Farming
IKEA and Tom Dixon have collaborated to investigate the future of urban farming, “making homes the new farmland.” In an upcoming entry to the Chelsea Flower Show, the UK’s most popular landscape event, the team will share their first ideas on how “affordable, forward-thinking solutions can be used to grow plants and vegetables at home and beyond.”
The ethos behind the collaboration is to celebrate food as a crucial part of everyday life, and inspiring a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle. Identifying the potential savings in transport miles, water usage, and food waste, the team will use IKEA’s democratic design principles to “develop affordable, sustainable food farming and consumption within our homes and urban communities.”
Rem Koolhaas and Virgil Abloh Discuss Consumerism, IKEA and Millennial Design
System Magazine and Buro 24/7 recently brought together Virgil Abloh and Rem Koolhaas to discuss contemporary consumerism and millennial design. Abloh, a rising American fashion designer and artistic director at Louis Vuitton, explains how his background in architecture has shaped his research into consumerism and culture. Koolhaas expands the discussion to explore Abloh's work with IKEA and his thoughts on residential design and the future of work.
Documentary About Human Shelter Shows the Poetry, Power and Resilience of “Home”
Architects are called upon to build society’s greatest structures. We marvel at the museums, performing arts centers and spaces of worship that dot the globe and represent the peculiarities of the world’s many cultures. Yet, at the core of the roles and responsibilities of the architect lies a calling for a far more elemental human need: shelter.
This doesn’t imply that architects are always involved in the creation of all the forms that shelter takes. However, a deep understanding of how people dwell provides an appreciation of the diversity, resilience, alacrity of the human race. The Human Shelter, a documentary about what people value or “need” in their lives, ties into a fundamental quality that any architect would be foolish not to cultivate: the ability to listen and perceive what makes people feel at home.
Algae Dome by SPACE10 Could 'Combat Chronic Malnutrition'
SPACE10's latest project displayed last week at Copenhagen's CHART art fair hosts the secret to combating malnutrition, greenhouse gases and ending deforestation - a pretty steep demand for a structure only four meters tall. The hero of this story is a microalgae that runs through the three hundred and twenty meters of tubing entwined around the pavilion.
IKEA's future living lab worked with bioengineer, Keenan Pinto and three architects, Aleksander Wadas, Rafal Wroblewski and Anna Stempniewicz to build a photobioreactor that facilitates the high production of microalgae that can be grown almost anywhere on the planet. During the three days of the fair, 450 liters of algae was grown as visitors got to experience the full extent of the neon green process.
BIG's Cactus Towers in Copenhagen Will Stand Next to an Urban IKEA
A new project in central Copenhagen will see two Danish practices—Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Dorte Mandrup Architects—create a new urban IKEA store, a budget hotel, and housing linked together by green space. Set to open in 2019, the area—which sits adjacent to Kalvebod Brygge, close to the railway lines that pass through the city core—will be master-planned by Dorte Mandrup while two striking high-rise residential towers, dubbed "Cacti", will be designed by BIG.
IKEA Launches Home Solar Battery to Take on Tesla
A new challenger has stepped into the ring of home solar batteries, and it’s a name you may recognize: global furniture retailer IKEA.
A competitor to Tesla’s now-available Powerwall home battery and solar roof system, IKEA’s home battery will be first sold in the UK, where owners of solar-powered homes can typically only sell excess energy produced back to the national grid at a loss. The battery pack will instead allow that power to be stored for later use, helping homeowners reduce their electricity bills by as much as 70 percent.
IKEA's SPACE10 Lab Reimagines Craftsmanship Through Digital Techniques
Picking up on the debate surrounding digitization in fabrication and its impact on traditional crafts, Copenhagen-based SPACE10, the future-living laboratory created by IKEA, recently invited three architects—Yuan Chieh Yang, Benas Burdulis, and Emil Froege—to explore the potentials of CNC milling for traditional craft techniques. The architects came up with three divergent yet equally innovative solutions to address the fundamental issue that plagues digital production: an apparent lack of a "human touch." In a Post-Fordist world increasingly dominated by customization, this investigation holds obvious importance for a company which deals primarily in mass-produced ready-to-assemble products; however, with its advocation for the infusion of dying classical craft techniques into the digital manufacturing process, the experiment could be meaningful for many other reasons.
IKEA Lab Releases Open-Source Plans for DIY Spherical Garden
Fresh off winning the “Design of the Year” for their refugee housing solution, the “Better Shelter,” IKEA is again making waves for a pioneering, flat pack solution to societal needs. Developed by the IKEA innovation lab Space10 alongside architects sine lindholm and mads-ulrik husum, the spherical “Growroom” is a DIY garden structure intended to help people “grow their own food much more locally in a beautiful and sustainable way.” And now, plans for the structure have been made available online for free via Space10’s open source platform, giving anyone the opportunity to build their own 3-dimensional garden.