How to grow your own biodegradable IKEA furniture

IKEA dedicated research and design lab SPACE10’s resident architects Katya Bryskina and Tomás Clavijo explored how the famous IKEA FRAKTA shopping bag might be used as a tool to grow, cast and shape furniture using locally sourced, biodegradable materials.

While Bryskina and Clavijo experimented with various biocomposites, the perfect recipe has not yet been discovered. Rather, Space10 encourages you to use a local natural by-product in biodegradable composite materials. Mixed with a natural binder such a plant-based resin or bicarbonates, the vegetal fibres of for example wheat, corn or rice can be compressed in a solid form and turned into cheap, renewable everyday products.

Rather than offering an IKEA-style guide how to assemble your furniture, the project designed a step-by-step guide to turn the FRAKTA shopping bag for a mould to grow your own biocomposite products. What you need are of course a FRAKTA bag (or rather multiple), an airtight zipper, vacuum hole eyelets, a hammer, a box cutter, scissors, spray glue, and a heat sealer, which is a significantly longer list of tools than you need for the average piece of IKEA furniture.

Once you have gathered everything, the guide describes in 12 steps how to cut, fold and glue to turn the bags into a sealable object that can be used as a cast, which you can see in one of the GIFs above.

When you’ve finished your cast, the next step is to make the biocomposite, deflate the bags, shape the design and let the biocomposite dry. When the object is solid, you can remove the cast. The project is designed in such a way that the process can be used by anyone, anywhere (with access to IKEA, of course).

Bryskina and Clavijo designed a folding logic for a parametric design platform. Using this logic, they designed five furniture prototypes, including a chair, a shelving system, two tables and a stool, each based on the dimensions of the reconstructed FRAKTA shopping bag.

The project was done in collaboration with Strelka Institute.

Photos: Niklas Adrian Vindelev / Kühl & Han / SPACE10


  1. Claudio Feldman says:

    Hay algun otra guia o pdf…para comprender estos pasos ?

  2. Sigrid says:

    Hi Claudio,

    If you follow the link in the article, you’ll arrive on a more detailed description on the manufacturer’s website.

    Good luck with your project!

    On behalf of Team MaterialDistrict,

  3. Terence Coton says:

    Where can I find more information about the kind of plant-based resin or even bicarbonates used for this project? I am not finding the information on the manufacturer’s website nor on google – I found some resin online but it is not biodegradable so that would not work. Can you please indicate a company that makes this kind of product and say more about the kind of bicarbonates alternative?
    Many thanks!

  4. Sigrid says:

    Hi Terence,

    We would recommend contacting the manufacturer about which binders they used.

    Good luck with your project!

    On behalf of Team MaterialDistrict,