As we charge towards high density living in the not too distant future, a band of Ikea team mates squirrelled away under the lights of the Sydney Harbour Bridge this week to construct their idea of our cities of tomorrow, building the concept of a community space in which to share food and life. With the release of their 'People & Planet Positive Report 2017', Ikea examines the drastic increase we can expect in population over the next hundred years and, find that whilst 43 percent of Australians are still chasing the suburban dream, 70 percent of us are not prepared for the increase in population and the ramifications of urbanisation.
"[our] mission is to enable a better, more meaningful and sustainable life for the many people."
An example of Ikea's vision is the release of 'The Growroom' from Space 10, Ikea's 'future living lab' in Copenhagen, Denmark. What started as an award-winning design in an architecture competition is now described as an open-source urban farm pavilion to sustain urban communities by encouraging them to grow food locally and on a small footprint. Ikea have released the build plans for The Growroom as an open-source design on the internet - it can be made locally out of plywood and knocked together with a rubber hammer. Build instructions can be found online too.
Another example of living sustainably and combatting issues of loneliness and isolation in cities as our population grows is Ikea's concept of the 'Shared Dining Experience', where people come together to share a meal, ostensibly with produce harvested from the Grow Room.
'Living lagom' - Ikea's vision for the future
A Swedish philosophy meaning 'just the right amount', lagom is Ikea's mandate for living sustainably and considering our daily impact on the planet. Concepts to effect this include:
- shared dining spaces
- more nature in cities - think gardens on rooftops and building structures
- better, smarter storage options
- water and energy capture and saving solutions
- homewares designed and built using sustainable materials
- food produced with minimal waste and maximum sustainability