IKEA Poland has gathered a multidisciplinary team to imagine how we can integrate a more eco-friendly lifestyle into our future homes. In the centre of Szczecin, Poland, the results are showcased in the Home of Tomorrow — a spacious, plant-filled living environment where visitors can get inspired on how to turn their own homes into healthier and more sustainable spaces.
Urban dwellers have been shrinking their personal living spaces in order to afford the advantages of high-priced city living and amenities right in front of their doorstep. But after an era of outsourcing daily activities into the city and the prospect of facing future isolating situations, many are now rediscovering the need to create a comfortable space in their homes.
IKEA’s Home of Tomorrow wasn’t initially designed for a post-pandemic world, but yet it very much resonates with the current situation of people living “the new normal”. As IKEA Szczecin was closed for renovations, the firm collaborated with local designers to create the Home of Tomorrow in a formerly abandoned space in the downtown of Szczecin, Poland’s greenest city.
Home of Tomorrow, at first sight, resembles the typical layout of a home with a kitchen, bathroom and living space all furnished with IKEA products made from sustainable and health-safe materials. Justyna Puchalska, Leading Designer, explains that many design decisions were actually based on the aim to reduce the materials being used. For example, they intentionally left the original walls in the building exposed. The abundance of green plants double as decoration of the space and also contribute to better indoor air quality.
But the innovative part of the space is the laboratory room, where visitors can learn, among other solutions, about how to grow edible produce in their homes. Circular Designer Paulina Grabowska, who was responsible for the design and execution of the laboratory room, developed open-source manuals on how to make your own indoor growing units — a spirulina farm, an aeroponic farm, an aquaponic farm and a micro garden — using parts that you already have at home or are easily accessible. The instructions are all available for free download on the project website.
It is important to mention that in the Home of Tomorrow nothing becomes waste, but is considered as a resource for another activity. For example, the water from farms is used to water over 600 plants, and organic leftovers become compost or fertilizer. Moreover, scraps of the materials, that remained after the interior and furniture construction, were left to be used in the Workshop Space.