IKEA’s Smart City Project Imagines Homes of the Future

What will homes and communities of the future look like? Whatever the answer is, it’s hard to imagine a world where people don’t take routine trips to IKEA for all their home goods needs. When the Scandinavian-founded company isn’t busy selling Billy bookcases and Ektorp sofas, it’s also concerned with figuring out sustainable homemaking solutions for years down the line. Case in point: IKEA’s smart city collaboration with H22 City Expo, the Nordic region’s largest sustainable urban development expo.

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During the Expo, IKEA worked with the city of Helsingborg, Sweden (where H22 took place), to reimagine the future of urban living in three development concepts, which included an urban farm, nature-inspired temporary shelters, and more.

“We created for H22 City Expo unique meeting places, and we are exploring the future of life at home, inside and outside the four walls,” said Belén Frau, global communication manager of Ingka Group, Ikea’s holding company, in a release.

First up is DM (Do More), a marketplace with an urban farm, pop-up stores, a food court, and an employment hub. DM will function as a multipurpose business model moving forward, with IKEA focused on using it to create job opportunities for community members. The space is located in Drottninhög, just northeast of Helsingborg.

Moving into the city itself, IKEA created Magasin 405 in an old Helsingborg warehouse. Magasin 405 is all about exploring the future of home life. The first floor showcases different perspectives on the concept of a First Home, Meanwhile the third floor is home to the ÖGONBLICK exhibition, which features eight abstract installations aimed at people in all sorts of living situations, from living alone to large, multi-generational home life.

Right outside Magasin 405 is Skogen, a mobile forest made from trees of seven different species that showcases three young designers’ sustainable shelter concepts. There’s Returning to Nature, a series of elevated wooden walkways; Tree-House, a free-standing wooden shelter inspired by its namesake; and Cork Loop, a hoop-shaped shelter made from cork, wood, and natural rubber.

If you weren’t able to make the trek out to Sweden to witness IKEA’s future city plans, don’t worry! You can also check out “The Oracle,” an official podcast series dedicated to telling the stories behind H22.

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