Man lying face down on a soft, white, bed-like futon.

Serious playground

SPACE10 is a one year old future-living lab and exhibition space situated in the very centre of Copenhagen. Their mission is no less than investigating the future of urban living. IKEA is the initiating force behind SPACE10 but it features an ever changing line-up of curious designers and design-students in residence.

At SPACE10 they are tackling the major challenges that will impact people on a global scale, and exploring possible solutions. The overall purpose is to enable a better, more meaningful and sustainable life for the many people. Basically, designing new ways of living.

A two-storey, glass-wall building lit up from within and with signs reading
SPACE10 is situated in the meatpacking district, in the very centre of Copenhagen. Alastair Philip Wiper

Fresh Living Lab” was the first project at SPACE10. Students from the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design were given the task to create healthier and more sustainable living possibilities in urban cities. One project that blew us away was Heat Harvest – a table that could generate electricity. The students built a prototype that harnesses energy emitted from any heat source placed on a table. Using thermo-electricity transformed the table was transformed into a charging hub for electrical appliances, for example, a smartphone.

A table and two chairs with a smartphone, and a jug full of coffee.
Heat Harvest prototype by Sergey Komardenkov and Vihanga Gore. Using thermo-electricity the heat created from the hot coffee pot can be used to charge a smartphone. Lukas Renlund

Their work is currently exploring three themes; circular society, co-existing and digital empowerment. Circular society revolves around creating more sustainable methods; more circular systems within production and distribution networks. Co-existing tackles the issue of having an increased amount of people placed in smaller living areas, making this new co-living phase more pleasant and digital empowerment recognises that technology is developing at a rapid speed. It investigates the question: how can we empower people through technology and at the same time explore who we are becoming as people while using it.

SPACE10 is a serious playground where creatives have the opportunity to reach design goals way beyond current limitations. They are contributing to building the cities of tomorrow. This future-living lab is not just one thing, it’s experimenting with many different ideas and importantly it has the resources and know-how to realise some of them. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this one!

A room filled with different types of tables, desks, shelving and chairs.
The SPACE10 workspace – where the community of visionary designers, artists, technologists, makers and creatives from around the world meet to discuss the future of urban living. Alastair Philip Wiper