Fifth edition of our #FridayProject
Starring: IKEA Algae Dome
Even the Swedish furniture giant has its own little secret: Space 10. A special Danish ground laboratory, external but subsidized by IKEA, with a humble aim: to anticipate the future.
We are on a mission to explore and design new ways of living
It is no coincidence that one of the hottest topics is the food production and consumption. Today an imminent challenge for all of us. How to feed the 10 billion we will be in 2050?
Just a few months ago, the idea of Growroom, a DIY design vegetable garden able to satisfy the family’s food needs, was born from the stomach of Space 10.
The volunty is to abandon traditional schemes, going in search of an innovative, productive and environmentally sustainable solution.
As a first step, Space 10 has decided to launch into the world of soilless cultivation with The Farm, a veritable miniature hydroponic farm within the same laboratory.
In line with the latest trends in Vertical Farming, the IKEA-sponsored guys have decided to produce healthy, tasty microgreens in the absence of earth and natural light.
Why precisely algae?
- Algae contain twice as much protein as meat, to which you must add minerals and vitamins in abundance. They have more beta-carotene than carrots and more spinach iron.
- Microalgae in particular are among the fastest growing organisms in the world, do not need potable water, and use very little soil. They can grow virtually anywhere and they can double their size in a single day.
- They also absorb CO2 and convert it to oxygen.
Are we facing the super food of the future?
Take for example, spirulina. Potentially it is the perfect food. In addition to the characteristics already mentioned, it is also rich in calcium, potassium, vitamin B and all the essential amino acids.
So why did nobody think of it before?
Well, in fact, someone already did that. The Aztecs cultivated algae on Lake Texcoco and used those in their daily diet with the name of Tecuitlatl. Therefore, in 1974 FAO had defined it as “The best food for tomorrow”.
But, Spirulina does not count among the tastiest foods in the world. Precisely for this reason Space 10 asked the Danish chef Simon Perez to experiment with new combinations and compositions. The images speak for themselves.
Putting aside haute cuisine, Spirulina could really have an important voice in the fight against malnutrition in third world countries. Its nutritional properties are indisputable.
Not only that, an even more interesting application would be related to the farm animals sector. Today, their protein needs are mostly met by soybeans, with a considerable consumption of land, especially in Latin America.
And we are not mentioning his potential as biofuels …
Let’s get back to the point, because if microalgae are so convenient, nobody is producing them?
The costs and the lack of knowledge.
This is the real challenge, which also IKEA and Space 10 are looking for. There are interesting companies and startup that use microalgae to fight pollution, but if you really want to attract investors, you need more knowhow.
And that is exactly why the Algae Dome was presented at the CHART Air Fair in Copenhagen. To bring citizens closer to this world, demonstrating the potential in a concrete and direct way.
The Algae Dome is a 4-meter-high structure capable of producing 450 litres of microalgae during the three days of the fair. It was conceived and realized by three young architects: Aleksander Wadas, Rafal Wroblewski, and Anna Stempniewicz in collaboration with bioengineer Keenan Pinto.
Thousands of people stopped, asked, tasted and documented this extraordinary world. Knowledge is the basis of progress.
Now all that remains is to transform the future into the present
Photo Credits: Space 10