Ikea has unveiled a brand new vary of robotic furniture that may add an additional eight sq. metres of area to flats by reworking a bedroom into a living room with the press of a button.
The Rognan vary, developed in collaboration with MIT-affiliated tech agency Ori, will first launch in Hong Kong and Japan subsequent yr — and is clearly impressed by Bruce Willis’ retracting mattress from the 1997 sci-fi movie The Fifth Element.
“For the last 10 to 15 years robotic furniture was something you would see in movies, but the technologies are getting very mature and are already changing the way we design, the way we create and the way we live in our spaces,” stated Ori founder Hasier Larrea.
“Rognan is the perfect example of bringing together the robotics of Ori and the furniture design of Ikea to create a much-needed solution for urban spaces. More and more people are going to be able to live with these technologies very soon, not in the distant future.”
It’s one among a set of product strains and ideas centred on the theme of small-space living introduced on the furniture big’s Democratic Design Days convention in Sweden this week.
In an analogous vein is the Ravaror, a type of Tetris-like trolley on wheels loaded with gadgets that may be unpacked and assembled to create an entire living area in about 12 sq. metres.
The assortment, which matches on sale subsequent yr, consists of 20 merchandise together with a daybed and couch, tables, mini kitchen, open storage and storage bins, textiles and lighting.
With an estimated 1.5 million individuals all over the world becoming a member of the city inhabitants each week, Ikea says small-space living is one in every of its three long-term priorities together with ordered living and living with youngsters.
“We see people migrate to the big cities, space becomes smaller, more people live in less square metres and that puts challenges on the products,” Ikea product design supervisor Henrik Heegaard advised information.com.au.
“You can’t have a big sofa, the sofa needs to serve multiple needs. How do you orchestrate a home where you live with your grandparents who takes care of your children, or you are a group of young people, three mates sharing a flat? What kind of new challenges does that pose? We see it as an opportunity.”
Mr Heegaard stated Ikea was additionally eager to discover “mobile” living. “In the big city, life happens in the home but also outside the home, so we’re very curious about mobile solutions,” he stated.
“What are the things you bring with you in life in the big cities? How can you make that mix where you have something you use when you’re on the go, and then when you come home it slots into your home furnishing solutions? When you come to this nano-living, which is something that we see in very big cities, there’s an entire palette of solutions we haven’t discovered yet.”
Meanwhile, Ikea has kicked off two tasks that purpose to “rethink construction, management and life cycle of our buildings to become sustainable, affordable and socially equal for the people who wish to live there”.
Both are closely targeted on fostering extra tight-knit communities, which Ikea says will “give people a sense of belonging — a proven boost to health and happiness” by offering entry to shared amenities and providers together with issues like day care, city farming, communal eating, health, shared transportation and retail.
The first, created in collaboration with structure agency Ikano Bostad, is a prototype “home of the future” designed to “simplify sharing and open up for different kinds of families”.
The 85 sq. metre condominium, certainly one of a number of potential configurations for various numbers of occupants, showcases round 40 particular person product and design ideas, from the format of the condominium itself to the furnishings and know-how.
They embrace the Rognan — which permits the identical flooring area for use as a bedroom, walk-in closet, work area and living room — curtains comprised of pollution-filtering “smart” material, and a kitchen designed to chop down on meals waste by storing gadgets at totally different temperatures.
The two halves of the condominium on both aspect of the kitchen-living space might be closed off with lockable screens — probably permitting a part of the area to be rented out on Airbnb.
Storage is shifted to the surface of the condo with lockable cabinets subsequent to the entrance door, which means you’ll both should be very trusting of your neighbours or not thoughts risking your mattress linen being nicked.
“It’s designed for shared living — we have designed the solutions, the services, the layout based on in this case that it’s supposed to be multi-generational living, for example a single mum with kids and her parents,” stated Ikea innovation strategist Mikael Ydholm.
“But of course it’s meant to be for all kinds of families, it can be rainbow families, it can be friends living together or collective living, and traditional nuclear families as well.”
Mr Ydholm stated in contrast to the normal method of designing an house which begins with room format, Ikea and Ikano Bostad as an alternative began by wanting on the sorts of actions we do in our houses these days.
“Because as we all know, habits are changing. Many people eat in the kitchen and the living room, the bedroom,” he stated. “You work at the local cafe, you work from home, in the office, so you use your home slightly differently today.”
The second, a futuristic shared living idea dubbed the Urban Village Project — at present little greater than some concept art and a website — comes from Ikea’s Copenhagen-based assume tank Area10.
Think delivery container houses, besides made out of flatpack picket frames. The modular models could possibly be combined and matched in numerous methods, from small freestanding buildings to, apparently, full-sized condo buildings.
“Don’t worry, we’re not expecting you to unpack a box and put your house together yourself,” stated Area10 architectural lead Jamiee Williams.
“But what it means is we can create new long-term circular relationships with companies and partners to actually provide these components to your home, so everything can be disassembled, replaced, reused and recycled.”
The venture outlines every little thing from the design of the houses themselves to the shared amenities, app-based connectivity and financing buildings, akin to new subscription-based fashions of renting — pay a better “subscription” to unlock entry to the group health club, for instance.
“We need to start offering something new between renting and buying,” Ms Williams stated.
She burdened that “this isn’t a building we’re proposing”. “It’s a vision for a scalable and flexible concept of construction that can actually be adapted and scaled to different scenarios and contexts,” she stated.
“It could be an in-fill in Europe, or a skyscraper in dense cities, or even villages in emerging economies.”
Ikea admits it is nonetheless a great distance off, and would require in depth partnerships with builders, builders and planning authorities to make a actuality.
“What’s interesting right now is many municipalities have this question at the forefront,” said Ikea development leader Evamaria Ronnegard. “Many are realising the problem, the more difficult thing is to come with a good proposal on how to solve it.”
The writer travelled to Almhult as a visitor of Ikea