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Businesses and organizations across the world are curating innovation labs by bringing in the best and brightest to distill creative ideas and fresh perspectives with the hopes of finding concrete solutions to obstacles facing industries. Some think these labs are purely marketing hype with little substance, while others believe it’s a revolutionary movement. However, no matter your take on the concept, it’s here, it’s happening, and for many companies, these bold initiatives are working. Enter IKEA and it’s new idea hub, Space10.

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Space10 is set up as an exhibition space and eventual living lab that examines the future of urban living and the challenges that people will encounter around the world. The goal of the innovative lab is to explore possible solutions for those challenges through a more sustainable way of life, or in the words of Space10’s CEO & Founder Carla Cammilla Hjort, “We believe that innovation is the process of being innovative but the ultimate goal is, of course, to contribute to a better world for many people and find sustainable solutions to our global challenges, whether it be climate, energy, resource or socially related.”

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The Background

I asked Hjort about the evolution of Space10 and what she feels will be it’s greatest impact on the future of innovation: “My company Rebel Agency came up with the idea and concept of Space10, and we pitched it to IKEA who loved it and decided to support. We already worked for IKEA (we are contracted with Inter-IKEA-Systems) to support setting up a new innovation method and strategy, based on our community model. Space10 is part of this work. I believe that the greatest impact on the future of innovation will happen when corporations, organizations, universities, governments and communities begin to work much closer together to solve global issues, and in doing so, manages to find ways to speed up the scalability of sustainable solutions.”

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What’s The Big Idea?

The idea behind Space10 is that it works as an external innovation lab for IKEA, helping the brand gain invaluable ideas and solutions, as well as discovering fresh talent to join the hub. All the furniture on the ground floor is made to be flexible so it can be changed on the fly as needed, to suit work various layouts depending on the current goings on of the lab.

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Hjort expanded on Space10’s goals: “IKEA is already doing so much to become a more sustainable company and also have the resources and knowledge to scale them. It is our task to support this development by scouting the best talent out there, and together, come up with new perspectives, concepts and possible solutions. By making Space10 a semi-external platform, we have the ability to test and prototype much faster, and at smaller scale ,before implementing and scaling. So far, it has proven to be a very fruitful model. In five years from now, I would love to see Space10 be one of the leading innovation communities in the world, with more locations to support the missions.”

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Open to the public, Space10 organizes different labs to trouble-shoot specific challenges which are worked through during a series of talks, events, workshops, hackathons, design residencies, community sessions and collaborative projects. An eclectic community of designers showcase their ideas and working prototypes to hopefully solve these major challenges. For more information, visit their website.

All photos courtesy of Space10.

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