Earth’s population is expanding at a rapid pace. As such, more and more people are living in cities. This powerful squeeze can cause problems such as lower accessibility, lack of sustainable solutions and worse food security.
However, the coastal city of Helsingborg, Sweden, is there to help solve these difficult problems. They invited the world to explore sophisticated ideas and incredible innovations that put people and the planet first by hosting the H22 City Expo from May 30 to July 3, 2022.
This was an international event, which gave industrial visionaries the opportunity to test new ideas, technologies, solutions and business models. One of the main partners at the event was IKEA – a company whose reputation, for some, is in interesting flatpack furniture and delicious meatballs. However, the company’s rich history and passion for innovation have made it one of the best sustainable development solutions.
IKEA, with the help of its many employees, created three different venues for the H22 City Expo: Do More (DM), Magasin 405 and Skogen.
In the northeast of Helsingborg is Drottninghög, which was a prime location for an entirely new and differentiated market – Do More (DM). This multi-purpose facility helped integrate communities as a unit, allowing the public to use it as a springboard for entrepreneurship, employment and self-employment, and other hiring opportunities.
With its flexible setup, DM allowed people to do more of the things they loved. The area was a social place that functioned as a meeting point and helped to unite the community, bringing producers and community together in one place.
The revenue model allowed for growth and continuity and was divided into four areas: DM Market (market), DM Äta (food), DM Odla (urban farm) and DM Recruit (job opportunities).
Are you familiar with the experience of moving into a new home? If the answer is yes, you are not alone, as millions of people around the world make the switch every year. This emotional and often financially expensive process can cause unwanted stress when you embark on a new independent venture.
In the old port of Helsingborg, there was a three-story cultural delight and one of the main touch points for IKEA at the H22 City Expo – Magasin 405. This place encouraged curiosity, wonder and exploration of thinking about the future of homes. There were many exhibits aimed at enhancing the journey of moving to a new home and the subsequent memories made there, highlighting affordable and sustainable ideas.
Every home is different, but IKEA has taken photos of different homes – from a single one-bedroom home to a multi-generational shared bedroom – and showcased them at the ÖGONBLICK exhibition. This was a unique and interactive set that explored different moments in life and how they affect our home environment. IKEA really delved into the concept – one exhibition featured up to 60 different short documentaries. Solutions were also presented on how to stretch furniture options to suit different scenarios, potentially helping in future financial difficulties.
The issues explored in Magasin 405 were not just local, but global. Important social issues were highlighted, such as social housing, tips on how to generate zero organic waste, mattress recycling solutions and the work of the IKEA foundation – whose mission (in partnership with the United Nations refugee agency and the United Nations for the Human Rights Council) is to improve the lives of vulnerable children. At the H22 City Expo, the foundation also examined domestic facilities.
For foodies, there was an array of delicious culinary delights that delved into future food trends. Well-known yummy classics have been adapted to be plant-based and paired with new and innovative flavors. Kitchen creations included plant balls (sisters of the classic meatballs), flatbreads with different toppings and waffles, plus an almost paradoxical experience of exquisite hot dogs.
The H22 City Expo looked not only indoors, but also outdoors, as a way to get people to reimagine and reconnect their symbiosis with nature. Skogen was located in the port of Helsingborg, just steps from Magasin 405. The need for urban recreational spaces has become increasingly apparent in recent years, with the pandemic limiting exploration to more immediate surroundings.
Skogen provided a space where people could step into a forest of flat, mobile, modular and transportable furniture. This place has showcased the creative minds of universities and young designers in two ways, providing a platform for their innovative and creative designs for future outdoor living.
First, IKEA and Spacon & X challenged four universities – the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Lund University, École cantole d’art de Lausanne and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – to create new communities with firsts flatpack houses.
Second, they conducted a global competition for young, creative minds to create open source projects (allowing anyone to download, rebuild or hack the plans) for exciting outdoor homes. The three winning proposals included a streamlined treehouse, a walking path that allows the stroller to be immersed in nature, and a versatile cork loop with numerous functions.
Overall, this exciting H22 City Expo rekindled people’s love for interior and exterior design and encouraged a positive outlook for the future.
The world may seem bleak to some, but there is hope that new ideas and innovative designs can help improve life in the future.
Get inspired by IKEA’s vision for the future at IKEA.com.