Guillaume Charny-Brunet, SPACE10’s Co-founder & Strategy Director.

SPACE10 – the IKEA research and design lab exploring the future of living

We are committed to innovating in ways that positively impact people and the planet. But how do we translate this commitment into reality? Our work with Copenhagen innovation lab, SPACE10, is one example. We invited SPACE10’s co-founder & Strategy Director Guillaume Charny-Brunet to tell us about the lab and its latest projects.

Tell us more about SPACE10 – what do you do?

"We’re a research and design lab, dedicated to creating better and more sustainable ways of living - with and for the IKEA brand. Major societal challenges, such as urbanisation, resource scarcity, climate change, food security or loneliness provide the basis for our research. In collaboration with experts and trailblazers from around the world, we examine possible solutions to these challenges. We prototype, test, and try to turn good ideas into meaningful products or services."

A white building with blue window and door frames in Copenhagen – the home of innovation lab SPACE10.
SPACE10, located in the old meat packing district in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Why does the IKEA business use SPACE10?

“The short answer is that we provide additional innovation capacity. But in reality, we do much more than that. The IKEA companies are deeply committed to sustainability, and has always been innovative, but even the IKEA business can benefit from a new perspective sometimes. As an external and independent research and design lab, we give them that. We have the freedom to pursue radical solutions which help prepare the IKEA business for future challenges, so it can continue creating ‘a better everyday life for the many people’.”

Even the IKEA business can benefit from a new perspective sometimes.

Guillaume Charny-Brunet, Co-founder & Strategy Director, SPACE10

What projects are you working with now that you feel particularly excited about?

"There are so many! SolarVille is one. Developed in collaboration with external partners, this Playful Research project has the bold ambition of democratising power supplies and empowering local communities. In SolarVille, solar panel installations are combined with a platform that lets households trade energy with one another according to their individual needs. Could this model provide the answer to our world’s energy needs?

Another is Future Food Today, our first cookbook. It’s a collection of recipes we’ve perfected in our test kitchen. Sustainable dishes that help us eat better, with respect for our bodies and the planet. At once aspirational and practical, we hope Future Food Today inspires everyone to take action through their food choices."

A model neighbourhood made from wood symbolising SolarVille, where households can trade energy with one another.
Wooden model of SolarVille.
A man’s hands adding a red sauce from a squeezy bottle to a round cracker with green vegetables on top.
Picture from the Future Food Today cookbook.

We hope Future Food Today inspires everyone to take action through their food choices.

Guillaume Charny-Brunet, Co-founder & Strategy Director, SPACE10 
A mobile phone superimposed on a background featuring a person’s chest. The screen shows an IKEA STRANDMON armchair.
SPACE10 headed up the design of IKEA Place - the augmented reality app, that lets you place true-to-scale 3D furnitures in the comfort of your own home.

SPACE10’s work falls into three categories:

Research: Exploring the bigger changes expected to affect people in the coming decades and trying to identify opportunities for a better everyday life.

Design: Acting upon identified opportunities to create better and more sustainable ways of living. Embracing a holistic mindset, we aim to design solutions for people and planet.

Culture: Connecting with people from around the world to exchange ideas, spark discussions and to empower people to drive positive change. 

A hydroponic farm in a structure of around two square metres with three levels of trays filled with crops.
The SPACE10 vertical farm in the Lokal salad bar, Shoreditch, London.
SPACE10:s “Shop on wheels”, a self-driving vehicle cum shop in yellow and blue parked in front of a pink building.
SPACE10 envisions the pop-up store on wheels.