At this point, IKEA Is practically synonymous with furniture and is one of the most recognizable home brands in the world. Many of us might have memories of strolling through their store picking out items or struggling to assemble tables at home.
After conquering the real-world furniture sector, IKEA is now on a mission to change the way that we interact with our furniture and is doing this through Space10, its research lab. According to a recent statement, Space10 is designing Carbon Banks, a speculative design project that plans to connect furniture to NFTs in order to drive sustainability.
How Carbon Banks Works
As the official statement on the Space10 website says, the company is looking to extend furniture lifecycles and promote end-of-life recycling. And the way that the company intends to promote these sorts of behaviours among consumers is through NFTs.
More specifically, IKEA intends to pursue its Carbon Banks initiative to change consumer behaviour.
“Carbon Banks proposes a future generation of NFTs called digital amplifiers as one of these new possibilities. Digital amplifiers act as a virtual layer attached to a physical object, highlighting and augmenting some of the object’s features and ultimately shifting the way we relate to these items,” an official post said.
How this will work is that the physical furniture will have unique patterns that will bind them to NFTs. When these patterns are scanned, an NFT is generated and these digital assets will evolve in a similar way to plants.
The physical furniture is made out of wood which acts as a ‘carbon sink’ that stores carbon for the duration of its lifetime. As long as the furniture is kept, the NFT will continue to evolve like a tree and this acts as an incentive for the user to prolong its lifespan.
Besides the amount of time that the furniture is kept, its linked NFT will also grow based on the data that is received by its smart contracts such as environmental, ownership, and care data. As such, all the actions that the owner takes will be reflected in the growth speed, colour, leaf shape, and so on.
The end goal of this is for the furniture owner to feel connected to the item in their home and make more responsible decisions regarding them. The team believes that people will be encouraged to care for their items if there is a digital roadmap of their lifecycle.
NFTs’ Potential Use in Furniture
While we have seen NFTs being applied in a myriad of ways, this project from IKEA is one of the most novel thus far. But upon closer inspection, it makes a lot of sense.
There is currently a big push towards sustainability and creating a way for consumers to be less passive towards the furniture that they choose to buy is certainly a step in the right direction. While Space10 has not yet revealed a rollout for the Carbon Banks items, we can only hope that they come soon.