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In Living Lab, we research the future forms of housing

How are we going to live in the future? Together with eight residents at a block of flats at Vollebekk in Oslo, IKEA and OBOS will research tomorrow's forms of housing. Welcome to Living Lab. 

We are always curious on what creates a good home. And then we especially wonder: What exactly is the added value of sharing?

Siri Engelschiøn Leader innovation and co-creation

Researcher on tomorrow's homes 

The big cities are becoming increasingly cramped, the homes smaller, and more people are living alone. Together with OBOS, we at IKEA will research the future forms of housing by following a slightly different housing community: Living Lab. By exploring new ways of living together, we can hopefully get an insight into how we can solve tomorrow's housing challenges.

Eight people, eight lives and one home 

 In an OBOS block at Vollebekk in Oslo, eight people move in, and together they will explore the value of a new type of community. The eight residents are of different ages, have different occupations and no one knows each other. What they have in common, however, is the curiosity for new ways of living and living together. .

We have arranged for everyone to feel at home here. But will everyone enjoy themselves, or feel at home in the interior design style? It will be exciting to see.

Sara Larsdotter BendiksenInterior designer

Common areas with several zones

In Living Lab, the residents each get their own room, but will share all the common areas - from kitchen to living room to bathroom. The common areas are planned and decorated by IKEA's interior designer Sara Larsdotter Bendiksen, who has taken into account the different wishes and needs of the eight residents.  

The kitchen is large and open with lots of light from big windows. It contains a large kitchen island with lots of space for cooking together. There are two dining tables. The long dining table seats many - whether you want to have dinner together, or friends over. The slightly smaller and round dining table, provides space for smaller gatherings. The living area in the housing community is furnished with several zones. This makes it possible to spend time together and alone - depending on what you need. There are plenty of sofas to choose from: Larger sofas for communities, smaller sofas for watching TV and a slightly more secluded sofa corner for a quite time with your favorite book. 

In the hallway, the residents also have their own lockers and storage options. Is it used as a wardrobe or closet for storing other stuff? This will be up to the residents themselves.  But how will the common areas actually work when several people are cooking at the same time, and some want to read a book while others watch TV? Or how will it work when there is a queue for the bathroom in the morning? This is something we are going to find out in Living Lab. 

I like how the common areas are set up with so many different zones. It kind of means we can be alone, together.

Anna LinaResident of Living Lab

Believe and hope that this will be the future

The residents are also excited about how it will be. "I think it is exciting that we, who live here, get to take such an active part in the project," says Torgrim Lockertsen, who is one of the residents in Living Lab. In addition to the residents being the research project's most important voices along the way, they have also been involved in designing their new home according to personal needs and wishes. "I do hope we get a better neighborhood." Lockertsen nevertheless adds that the biggest challenge will probably be - like other collectives - the degree of cleanliness, tidiness, noise, and that everyone has their own routines. "At the same time, I believe and hope that this will be the future," he adds. 

A research project that will live a long time 

«These people do not know each other», says Engelschiøn. «And this is exactly the journey we want to be part of, so that we can create the solutions together with them.». The project started in the autumn of 2021, and will extend over time and come together as the residents live in the Living Lab. What the result will be, and what we can take with us into the housing forms of the future, we will have to wait and see. 

Join the journey and get to know the project

Watch the videos below to learn more about the project and the people involved.