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An ultra low-cost modular home

It may look like a million bucks, but Ikea’s experimental Space10 lab designed the house to cost less than $10,000.

An ultra low-cost modular home
[Illustration: Peter Arkle]

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.

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Ikea is a finalist in the 2018 Innovation By Design Awards. Check out all the honorees here.

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About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company who has written about design, technology, and culture for almost 15 years. His work has appeared at Gizmodo, Kotaku, PopMech, PopSci, Esquire, American Photo and Lucky Peach

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