Cool Workspaces: A Look Inside IKEA's Copenhagen-Based Research Lab

In the heart of the design-centric city of Copenhagen lies SPACE10, a research lab that occupies an old fish grocer with its 27-person team of designers and researchers. The company is best known for its work as an independent research and design lab supported by IKEA, where they are responsible for strategizing solutions for future societal changes (think rapid urbanization or the natural resource scarcity we’re facing in the near future).

Instead of making incremental changes to IKEA’s business (like the conglomerate’s proposed subscription service model), SPACE10 explores the world at at large, discovering insights along the way that can benefit IKEA’s bigger picture. In addition to extensive research, SPACE10 invites creatives and specialists from around the world to work with them, as well as hosts events to bring the design community together.  

SPACE10 recently went through an interior refresh with the help of Copenhagen-based design and architecture studio, Spacon & X. The new set-up includes a fabrication laboratory and tech studio in the basement, a new test kitchen, an event space and gallery on the ground floor, and a new office design upstairs.

The new office layout and airy framed walls allow employees to switch from a more open meeting layout to a private office through the use of acoustic panels made from recycled plastic. Since research hasn’t really proved which office format is best, SPACE10 and Spacon & X merged the best of both worlds into one. The ground floor now acts as a more informal meeting place to socialize and interact with colleagues and even the general public.

‘If fewer panels are used, making a team more open to the rest of the office, the steel frame still suggests a barrier to guide spatial flow within the interior. And if a week of collaborative focus is needed, a team can attach more panelling to the framework. By providing privacy and sound absorption, the solution means that those inside don’t get distracted – or distract others outside.’ —Kevin Curran, Program Lead at SPACE10 and head of the redesign of SPACE10

SPACE10 was already open to the public, but they wanted to push things further, so they will be welcoming the public throughout the week, through events and public spaces within the workspace.

Test kitchen!

One of those spaces is a new experimental food space where visitors can taste the latest results from the lab’s test kitchen. The test kitchen is for culinary research only, so this is some real off the menu stuff right here.


SPACE10’s ground floor gallery, another public space, will be opening soon on March 8th. The gallery will feature SPACE10’s own work along with the work of other artists and designers focused on sustainable living.

Gallery space

And last but not least, see photos of the updated fabrication space below, it’s pretty sweet.

If you’re keen on checking out Space10 for yourself, check out their events calendar here.

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