As giant companies go, IKEA is among the most environmentally friendly and eco-conscious. From its award-winning flatpack refugee shelter to plans to ditch polystyrene for biodegradable mushroom-based packaging, really Sweden, you’re making us jealous.
Continuing its progressive agenda, Space10, an IKEA lab that explores sustainable solutions for future urban living, has teamed up with Danish architects Mads-Ulrik Husum and Sine Lindholm who designed the “The Growroom” – a spherical, multi-tiered indoor garden designed to sustainably grow enough food to feed a neighborhood – to make it open source, allowing the plans to be downloaded for free.
“It is designed to support our everyday sense of well-being in the cities by creating a small oasis or 'pause' architecture in our high paced societal scenery and enables people to connect with nature as we smell and taste the abundance of herbs and plants,” Space10 say in the open source plan.
Right, let's get started. Photo by Niklas Vindelev
The hope for this “urban farm pavilion” is that it will spur local communities to work together, growing and sourcing food to share and feed themselves in cities where outside space is not viable. All this in just 17 steps, using plywood, some nails, a (hopefully local) wood-cutting workshop, and some manpower to put it all together.
“Local food represents a serious alternative to the global food model. It reduces food miles, our pressure on the environment, and educates our children of where food actually comes from,” Space10 continue. “The challenge is that traditional farming takes up a lot of space and space is a scarce resource in our urban environments.”
The Growroom being assembled by its architects, Mads-Ulrik Husum and Sine Lindholm. Photo by Niklas Vindelev
When completed, the free-standing, spherical Growroom measures 2.8 by 2.5 meters (9 by 8.2 feet). The interlocking plywood pieces allow water and light to reach vegetation on each level, without letting either through to the inside, thus also providing shelter for a visitor. The Growroom also has a Creative Commons license, allowing people to expand on their garden and make them unique.
Inside the Growroom. Space10/Alona Vibe
Interest in the Growroom has been expressed from as far and wide as Helsinki, Rio de Janeiro, Taiwan, and San Francisco, but as Space10 says: “It doesn’t make sense to promote local food production and then start shipping it across oceans and continents,” hence their idea to make the plans free to download anywhere.
A center that provides green space, sustainable food-growing opportunities, and cool architecture? Yep, we're sold.
The Growroom in all its glory. Space10/Growroom