It looks like the sort of ridiculously pricey modernist retreat that design lovers dream of—a rich person’s spartan playhouse that could be nestled in the woods or perched on a heath. In fact, the 527-square-foot model home, an austere black box with large windows, cost only $9,408 to build and was fabricated largely from a single material (certified sustainable plywood) by a single machine (computerized cutter). Developed within Ikea’s experimental Space10 lab by Danish architecture students Johanne Holm-Jensen and Mia Behrens, the project, called Building Blocks, is a work in progress: Space10 is making all design files available for free to other architects and builders to continue developing and improving the model, an experiment in low-cost, sustainable modular homes for all us non-billionaires.
Ikea is a finalist in the 2018 Innovation By Design Awards. Check out all the honorees here.