IKEA has shared the first details of a new partnership with an entire city where ambition is to create community solutions for a better life at home. The project called H22, will take place in the Swedish city of Helsingborg, and explore the definition of ‘home’ by developing new living, community and retail ideas co-created between IKEA, the citizens of Helsingborg and other local and global partners.
The City Expo will take place from 30 May to 3 July 2022 at three sites in and around Helsingborg, which was recently named by the European Commission as one of Europe’s most innovative cities. Each site will explore a specific challenge associated with city living, from affordable homes to health and wellbeing, whilst exploring how IKEA can contribute and become an active partner in developing communities and neighbourhoods.
From IKEA, the partnership is led by Ingka Group and their Chief Creative Officer, Marcus Engman.
“We firmly believe that home is more than four walls – it’s also our neighborhoods and communities – and so the opportunity to be a co-creator for H22 is hugely exciting. Over the next years we will use the full potential of the IKEA Business model and embrace radically different thinking. By 2022, we want to present real solutions for sustainable cities that are affordable and practical for people, planet and society.”
Three areas of Helsingborg will become the location for a range of collaborative solutions. In the Drottninghög suburb, activities will focus around three sites: ‘The Garden’, ‘The Market’ and ‘The Kitchen’. The Garden will promote urban farming and grow fresh produce to be used to prepare delicious local meals in The Kitchen, which will be sold along with The Garden’s produce at The Market. The new development aims to foster the social aspects of inclusion as well as encourage employment and entrepreneurial activities.
Meanwhile the city’s Harbour area will become a hub for ambitious, innovative ideas around the future of retail, manufacturing and the home. Interactive exhibitions of the latest store and product concepts from IKEA will showcase the technologies, functions and products that will shape the home of the future. They will also bring visitors closer to the manufacturing process by opening up IKEA textiles and printing technology.
Finally, the city forest Fredriksdalsskogen will act as a connector for the fair. Here, students from different disciplines and institutions will co-create solutions for alternative, sustainable temporary housing solutions that promote inclusivity and self-reliance, and connect the city with nature.
To help tell many of the stories behind H22, IKEA will launch a podcast series called ‘The Oracle’, exploring everything from the future of affordable homes and city retail to food and togetherness, and health and wellbeing. This series of one-hour episodes will be hosted by industry leaders and local Helsingborg heroes.