IKEA and Space10 are teaming up to explore the future of food. Food supply issues are one of the major threats facing the world, and since IKEA is the seventh largest restaurant chain in the world, they are well-positioned to help drive change. Last year saw the introduction of IKEA's vegan meatball, now Space10 introduces "The Farm," an IKEA-hacked hydroponic garden that proves food can be grown right inside the restaurant in which it is served.
Using LED lights from the IKEA RYDDA/VÄXER hydroponic garden, which will be available in the US next year, along with some good old classic shelves and plastic bins, Space10 has created a farm in a tiny basement room of their studio in Copenhagen. Over 80 percent of the supplies to create the farm came straight from IKEA, hacked to suit the purpose, of course. The entire project shows how technology and nature can combine to create a sustainable future – from the sounds of birds chirping, which came from a nearby iPad (plants are reported to grow better when they are surrounded by the sounds of their natural habitat), to the green sprouts peeking out of their earthy substrate.
Transportation and sourcing of food has a huge impact on the planet’s resources. Everything from fertilizer use to tearing down rainforest and from thousands of trucks traversing millions of miles of road to the waste traveling such distance incurs has a detrimental impact on the environment. But all of that could change if food could be grown right where it is being eaten. This is particularly important, given that our population is increasing while aerable land on Earth is reaching its limits.
Space10 looked at the question of how we can make a positive impact on the planet from a different perspective. Originally, they toyed around with the idea of creating a shower alarm that lets you know when a person has used too much water until they realized not only is the shower one of the last places we can escape technology, you’d have to skip showers for months to equal the water used in one hamburger. So they shifted gears and started asking how they could make a burger water-friendly. The solution? Bugs. Combined with on-site grown herbs and lettuces, the combination turns a classic unsustainable American meal into one with very little impact on the planet.
For lunch, Space10 served Inhabitat a meal that showed how food could be supplied right on site and have little impact on the environment. We were each given a miniature garden that we harvested and placed on top of our bugburger, made from mealworm, beetroot and gluten, which was shockingly tasty thanks to chef Simon Perez. Along with a side of surprise fries (also containing insects), the meal showed how beautiful, delicious and sustainable the future of food can be.
Space10 hopes to illustrate how food supplies can be pushed into the future, and our host Carla likened the situation to the human body: when we get sick, we eat healthier, take better care of ourselves, exercise and do our best to feel better. Right now, the planet is sick, and we need to help care for it in order to heal it. A sustainable food supply is key, and it can start right at home – or in this case – right in the restaurant.
Photos by Kristine Lofgren for Inhabitat