IKEA’s research lab SPACE10 is working on the fast food of the future
A lot of the foods at modular furniture giant IKEA – like the Swedish meatballs – have attained a cult-like following and now the company is setting its sights on the future. The future-living lab SPACE10 has re-imagined fast food classics with sustainable, eco-friendly and healthy ingredients, including the meatballs.
A burger containing mealworms and a hot dog made from dried carrots and algae are among the five futuristic foods SPACE10’s creative director Kaave Pour presented at Iceland’s DesignMarch event. The project was first initiated in response to UN research, which predicted that the world’s demand for food will increase by 70 percent within the next 35 years, and also drew attention to the environmental impact of meat production.
As a result, all of the future foods that SPACE10 has developed are made with ingredients that can be cultivated sustainably, or are byproducts of an existing production chain.
Despite its reputation for confounding furniture kits, IKEA is proving itself to be a contender in the food industry. Last year, IKEA disclosed that it was looking into creating a chain of stand-alone cafes, separate from its monster stores. The company discovered that 30 percent of its customers come to IKEA just to eat.
“At SPACE10, our research is rooted in an important principle – dishes shouldn’t just be healthy or sustainable, they must be delicious too,” food designer Simon Perez and plant engineer Sebastian Dragelykke explain. “Which is why we’ve been working with our chief-in-residence to come up with dishes that look good, taste good, and are good for people and the planet.”
Swipe through the photos below to see SPACE10’s menu in all its glory.
SPACE10 reimagined the classic IKEA meatball to get people thinking about reducing their meat consumption, using local produce and trying alternative proteins. These contain no beef or pork. One version is made with mealworms and the other with beets, parsnips and carrots. Both are served in the traditional swedish manner with mashed potatoes, gravy and lingonberry sauce.
The Bug Burger
This burger combines both versions of the Neatball: Veggies meet mealworms. The resulting patty comes on a delicious white-flour bun, topped with relish, beetroot and blackcurrant ketchup, chive spread, hydroponic salad mix.
The Dogless Hotdog
A riff on what you might find at a baseball game, this entree substitutes meat for glazed baby carrots and is topped with beet and berry ketchup, with a cream of mustard and turmeric. The bun has a bright green color, which is from spirulina, a protein- and vitamin-rich microalgae.
To create a sustainable salad, SPACE10 grows lettuce and herbs in its basement with a hydroponic farm, for which no soil is needed. They created three salad blends: pink-stem radish, red-veined sorrel and lemon balm, served with dressings made of basil, tarragon and lemon.
Microgreen Ice Cream
Every fast food joint includes a dessert. SPACE10 envisions ice cream or an ice pop: Both feature hydroponic greens and herbs. If you can’t decide between basil, coriander, fennel or mint ice cream, combine them all for some Green Goodness. The pops come in spanish chervil, coriander, sorrel or woodruff.
When we can try it, though, is still unclear. We won’t be eating these after furniture shopping any time soon, as they’re currently confined to SPACE10’s test kitchen.
SPACE10 will speak at the Forward Festival 2018 in Vienna, Munich and Zurich.