SPACE10, IKEA’s innovation and research laboratory, recently revealed its innovative furniture circularity concept that relies on non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The “Carbon Banks” concept, developed in collaboration with design and research studio WINT and soft robotics researcher Anna Schaeffner, entails tying physical furniture to digital assets that track the furniture’s journey.
The initial furniture and object of the study, a wood-made chair, features a unique pattern that serves as a visual identifier to link an evolving NFT to the physical object.
Upon scanning their chair, people will see a virtual seed – that may be shown at any moment in virtual worlds – that marks the beginning of the journey.
As time passes, the seed will grow into a plant, and eventually into a tree, which will embed various pattern sources throughout time.
Possible or evident damage to physical furniture will be identified via object detection, which will alert owners and display a simple repair process.
The longer people will keep their chairs, the more unique the tree grows, with its singular growth algorithmically defined by the many types of data input stated in its smart contract.
If people will decide to recycle their chairs, they’ll enter a new production cycle and the tree will eventually evolve into a blooming tree, marking the lifecycle completion.
The NFTs SPACE10 plans to use are referred to as digital amplifiers, and they function as a virtual layer linked to a physical object, accentuating and amplifying certain of the object’s attributes and, eventually, changing how people react to and care for these items.
SPACE10’s Carbon Banks project might potentially tackle overproduction and consumption of natural resources issues while also improving recycling awareness.