Ikea recently opened an innovation lab in Copenhagen called Space10, where various designers will spend three months at a time solving a particular aspect of future home design problems. They'll be given the power to give talks, explore concepts, and create prototype ideas.
While Ikea foots the bill and gets first look at the end results from the artists, Space10 is completely independent from the furniture behemoth. It's run by a small Danish design firm, Rebel Agency. "It's not just good marketing, it's a way for Ikea to get an early look at bold new ideas that might eventually disrupt their business—and possibly bring them to market first," writes Fast Company's John Brownlee.
Space10's first lab resulted in more than 15 prototypes. These include a kitchen table that converts surface heat (say, from a coffee pot or a pan) into electricity; a glowing faucet that encourages you to take shorter showers; a smart chair that is impossible to sit on if you've been too sedentary throughout the day; and an interactive work of art that visualizes your family's health habits.