Algae, Lab-Grown Meat, and Insects: The Meatball of the Future?

Ikea research lab looks to the future of food

Flickr / Maggie / CC BY 4.0

‘Tomorrow’s Meatball’ aims to find sustainable ways to meet growing demands for food.

The great minds at IKEA’s Space10 research lab are hard at work on a project called Tomorrow’s Meatball, which “aims to find sustainable ways to meet the growing demand for food caused by the rapidly increasing world population,” according to Food Navigator. Space10, a future-living lab and exhibition space, aims to create opportunities for a better and more sustainable way of living, according to their website.

Space10 Creative Director Kaave Pour says, “We used the meatball’s shape and size as a canvas for future foods scenarios, because we wanted to visualize complicated research in a simple, fun and familiar way.” Through the use of 3D printing, the team at Space10 has created beautiful prototypes of their proposed meatballs, some of which include The Artificial Meatball (artificial meat grown inside a lab), The Wonderful Waste Ball (discarded food that is still usable), and The Lean Green Algae Ball.


Bas van de Poel, creative in residence at Space10, says, “It’s quite difficult to picture that in the near future we will be eating insects or artificial meat. But, with the increasing demand for food, we need to start considering adding alternative ingredients to our daily menu. You could say that ‘Tomorrow’s Meatball’ gets people a little more familiar with the unfamiliar.”