LOKAL, it is a compact pop-up food farm that fully utilises the benefits of hydroponic gardening for cities around the world that is a result of a collaboration between Space 10 and IKEA.
Its ingredients are grown indoors within a stacked vertical structure, foregoing the need for vast open fields to reap the same crops. It is a portable eatery design that requires far less resources to grow vegetables without compromising on the nutritional value or freshness of the food.
Recognising that limited real estate and water scarcity prohibit many parts of the world to produce locally grown vegetables throughout the year, designers at Space10 set about creating an urban farm design that overcomes those boundaries. LOKAL’s hydroponic food system allows plants to grow up to three times faster than normal and requires 90 percent less water.
The model is perfect for confined urban areas where folks want to enjoy fresh produce without the cost of having it transported from remote countrysides. LOKAL’s microgreens grow without soil below or sunshine above – instead the system uses a small amount of nutrient-rich water to nourish plant roots efficiently and LED lamps to simulate a perfect spring day endlessly. This method produces much less spoilage and can be managed locally, making it even more sustainable when powered with renewable energy sources.
During its first outing to the public in Shoreditch, the LOKAL prototype produced over 2000 homegrown spirulina-infused salads for passersby over three days, assembled by Space10’s resident chef Simon Perez. The designers aim to develop LOKAL further to install it in more locations around the globe as part of IKEA’s supply chain.
“LOKAL is a fresh approach to food – serving delicious ingredients, right where they’re grown. Because the closer the better, both for people and the planet. LOKAL could help develop a new, local supply chain, one that enables us to grow more food within our cities and food that tastes great and is more nutritious, healthy and fresh all year round,” says Guillaume Charny-Brunet, Space10’s Director of Innovation Strategy.
“We are always looking for new ways to develop our food business in an innovative way and improve our range when it comes to flavour as well as the health and sustainability aspect of food. We are working together to explore how we can utilise LOKAL and other innovations in the future to create a better everyday life for the many people through food,” says Michael La Cour, Managing Director of IKEA Food Services.
Photography credit: Rory Gardiner and Nicklas Ingemann