IKEA’s “Next Gen: Seniors” project, presented at Madrid Design Festival 2022, aims to imagine a better tomorrow for the longest-living generation in history

IKEA Spain‘s “Next Gen: Seniors” project, presented at Madrid Design Festival 2022, aims to imagine a better tomorrow for the longest-living generation in history. When we think about the future, there are many challenges that come to mind, but there is one that is a reality that we are already beginning to experience and that is tangibilized in a fact that meant an “open eyes” for the Swedish brand and that aims to equal impact on the rest of society: In 2050, a third of the Spanish population will be older. 

For IKEA “a society full of older people is not a bad society, in fact, it is an opportunity for everyone” and this speech will be worked on throughout the year. With “Next Gen Seniors. Redesigning the city of the future for the longest-living society in history”, IKEA intends to lay the foundations for that longer-lasting future by inviting reflection on the implications that it may have on our society, opening a conversation about how we want that future to be and, most importantly, offering solutions to through design for the cities of tomorrow.

IKEA project by Espadaysantacruz Studio

The project will begin with a major study that will present the collection and analysis of data that will detect the most important insights and challenges that the ageing of society may bring. Data will have its first landing at the Madrid Design Festival through an installation in the centre of the capital in Plaza de Colón, open until February the 18th, that aims to converse with the public.

IKEA project by Espadaysantacruz Studio

In addition to the installation, a digital platform will be created to be able to participate from anywhere in Spain. Both the physical and the digital installation have been carried out by the prestigious design studio Espadaysantacruz Studio, which has been in charge of generating what they have called “The conversation of the future”. The construction will immerse us in a totally immersive way in a tunnel through time in which we will be able to converse with an Artificial Intelligence that will collect the information, thoughts and reflections of the current population regarding the future of seniors in cities and that will give us a vision of possible challenges and solutions.

A data representation installation that aims to open our eyes to build a better future together. “Next Gen: Seniors” will not only be a project that will travel through the main Spanish design festivals, starting with Barcelona Design Week next June, where it will develop ideas with the involvement of young design students, whose prototypes will then be exhibited in Valencia for the World Design Capital Valencia 2022 event. With this project, IKEA intends to lay the foundations for a genuine brand commitment to this segment of the population that is so important to our society.

There is a long future to build, but as the seniors have taught us, we have our whole lives ahead of us.