Ikea's research lab, SPACE10 and design studio 'Panter & Tourron' have introduced the 'Couch in an Envelope' concept.
Are you looking for convenient easy-to-transport furniture? How about a couch from Ikea that can be carried home in an envelope? You heard that right! The “Couch in an Envelope” concept recently made its debut which involves a unique couch that can even be assembled and disassembled without needing any tools, screws, or other hardware! This idea sounds perfect for anyone who hates the energy that goes into building furniture.
Ikea research lab "SPACE10" envisioned a recyclable sofa that weighs 10 kg but can be snugly fit into an envelope for easy transportation. In collaboration with Panter&Tourron, the studio used AI to help reimage a couch as a lightweight, versatile, comfortable, and sustainable item. While most couches are heavy and bulky, this one is designed to be more adaptable to modern living, reports Wallpaper.
"We've envisaged something that's 100 percent recyclable without sacrificing softness," explained Stefano Panterotto, designer and co-founder, of Panter & Tourron, according to Design Boom. "It's designed with freedom of space in mind," shared "SPACE10's Georgina McDonald. "A single couch could live in a shared apartment or open-plan space. Or, in a multi-module configuration, it can create a semi-architectural space. It's designed with our contemporary habits in mind and ready to adapt for the ones of tomorrow."
"The couch has barely changed in centuries," according to a video embedded in Space10's project outline, which explains the concept behind the one-of-a-kind sitting object. "Today, the archetype of the couch has become heavy, unsustainable, and rigid." Space10 also added that it was a "couch made for nomadic living" and a "sustainable, lightweight" piece of furniture. Since it can be easily disassembled, the couch could be passed between friends and family, extending its lifespan.
According to Gizmodo, the couch is made with minimal use of lightweight materials like an aluminum frame. The body and pillows are made using cellulose and mycelium foam, which are both biodegradable. Couches in Envelope are also modular, so you can even create new seating arrangements with or without a backrest or even convert it into a flat bed for sleeping. Its adjustable 'wings' can be lowered or raised to comfortably seat two or three people.
However, here's the bad news. If you are looking to get your hands on this furniture right away, that won't be possible. But you can check out the prototype of the couch on display at Space10's latest exhibition: Design in the Age of AI. "This is a speculative design project and therefore not something that IKEA will be selling," a Space10 spokesperson shared, reported Business Insider.
The company currently has no plans to officially put the Couch in an Envelope into production as of now. But the interesting part of this project is that it shows how AI systems can be leveraged as creative collaborators to bring new and innovative ideas to the table, which in turn, could potentially be refined into new products. "The project is an agenda for change. To inspire designers to challenge other outdated archetypes and move towards designs that are lighter and more sustainable. Better for people and the planet," added McDonald.