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SPACE10 redesigns its lab to accommodate a library and community space
SPACE10's revamped ground floor
Image: Seth Nicolas

SPACE10 redesigns its lab to accommodate a library and community space

The revamped ground floor of the Copenhagen-based studio will host talks, workshops and informal meetings at a more regular pace now.

by Almas Sadique
Published on : Jan 26, 2023

IKEA’s research and design wing SPACE10 was founded with the intention of platforming ideas, creations, and creatives that are pivoting on the mission of building a better life that is accessible to all and cognizant of the natural environment. The research lab, based in Copenhagen, Denmark, since 2015, has served as a testing ground for various design ideas and prototypes created in anticipation of the societal and environmental changes that are expected to impact people's lives, livelihoods, and our land in the future. Driven by the approach of collaborating with experts across disciplines, and disseminating them freely to the larger public, the lab regularly hosts various talks, exhibitions, screenings, workshops, and informal meetings. Their mission of engaging with people from all walks of life in order to catch a glimpse into varied perspectives and provoke new thoughts and imagination for the times ahead is further augmented by the recent redesign of their space into a library and community space, accessible to all.

The ground floor of the studio’s Danish headquarters, revamped in collaboration with Copenhagen-based architecture and design studio Spacon & X, now hosts a curated collection of various design books that trace and illustrate modes and methods of intervening and designing products and systems for a tomorrow that is more democratic. It also hosts an area designated for free public usage. The large open space, complete with a kiosk and gallery space, welcomes people to get inspired, ideate, and exchange thoughts.

“We learned in a recent SPACE10 survey that 87% of our community follow us for ‘inspiration and new ideas’, while 59% want to be part of a ‘like-minded community’,” shares Kevin Curran, Spatial Design & Partnerships, SPACE10, delineating the inceptive reason that urged this transformation. “This felt like an opportunity to provide the community with a physical space that can be used for research, discussions, and meetups, and share books we at SPACE10 find inspiring and that are shaping our own conversations and projects. We want to foster spaces where people and ideas can meet, and what better than a library to provide serendipitous encounters and conversations on a daily basis,” Curran adds.

The project's core is the new reference library with 100 thought-provoking design books chosen by the SPACE10 team. This also includes books picked out by guest curators and the community. Reading stations, communal workplaces, and private meeting booths are among the spatial additions made to the ground floor of the research studio. In addition to snacks and drinks made by local businesses, a new kiosk offers curated design objects such as homewares, stationery, toys, and gifts, as well as SPACE10 books, publications, and merchandise. The SPACE10 gallery and stage area, which will still hold events, book launches with guest authors, and interesting panel discussions, are enhanced by these additions that activate and enliven the space.

“SPACE10 is essentially handing over one of three of their floors to the public in an effort to share not only their space with the community but also research, ideas and inspirations behind their projects. The reference library is built with a series of display units, combined to present books, SPACE10 merchandise, and local design products. Nothing should be too curated or feel precious. This is a space to be used and enjoyed. The different seating options, with window stools and reading nooks, give people the chance to make the space their own — whether they just want to hang out and have a coffee, or work, study, and dive into the books on display,” says Svend Jacob Pedersen, Co-Founder, Spacon & X, explaining the varied ways in which the space can be experienced and enjoyed.

The SPACE10 headquarters are spread out over three floors in a historic, open-plan building in Copenhagen's meatpacking district. The idea of kiosks—a place where people gather to read, recharge with drinks or snacks, and catch up on local events—was the inceptive inspiration for the redesign of the ground level. The library is set up like a newsstand with flexible, modular newspaper-style racks, and displays of children's books, magazines, and other publications.

The tables and chairs dotting the space are made of aluminium produced in Denmark, and the room is constructed using locally-sourced organic materials like wood and wool. Based on SPACE10’s core belief that knowledge should be accessible to all, its reference library includes works on design, architecture, the environment, culture, and business, all of which delineate habits and processes that may help create a better future for both people and the world. The books will be updated frequently with pertinent works picked by SPACE10, guest curators, and the local community, who can visit the premises, leave a book and take another one along with them.

A few programmes scheduled to take place in the new space include Cyberfeminism Index with Mindy Seu on January 31, 2023, Creativity in the Age of AI on February 9, 2023, and Franklin Till x Our Time on Earth on February 15, 2023. The SPACE10 team will continue to work exclusively on the upper level of its Danish office while the basement will be used to house a fabrication lab and tech studio.

SPACE10’s new space will open to the public on January 26, 2023.

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