The problem with the traditional sofa design is it is heavy and bulky, making transporting and rearranging difficult. But IKEA’s SPACE10 research lab, in collaboration with Panter&Tourron, envisions this furniture to not just be lightweight and comfortable, but also versatile, sustainable, and packable. As such, the birth of the “Couch in an Envelope” concept.

This project aims to free the furniture from its historical form by using generative AI platforms Runway and Midjourney to come up with a flat-packed and modular sofa that users can carry around. It envisions a couch made with recyclable materials including an aluminum frame, mycelium foam, and cellulose-based fabrics.

The “Couch in an Envelope” is also a toolless and screw-less design that is easy to assemble, disassemble, pile, transport, and recycle when needed. This way, it prevents the disposal of many components (such as those found in typical couches) that would only end up in landfills.

Stefano Panterotto, designer and co-founder of Panter&Tourron said the team “envisaged something that’s 100 percent recyclable, without sacrificing softness.” Meanwhile, SPACE10’s Georgina McDonald said the couch is “designed with freedom of space in mind.” She explained, “A single couch could live in a shared apartment or open-plan space. Or in a multi-module configuration, it can create a semi-architectural space. It’s designed with our contemporary habits in mind, and ready to adapt for the ones of tomorrow.”

As such, the “Couch in an Envelope” features adjustable wings that can be lowered or raised to accommodate up to three people comfortably. Its modular design lets you think beyond conventional boundaries as it can combine with multiple couches to create a larger seating area.

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Images courtesy of SPACE10