A rocking chair that charges your iPad. A plastic ballwith a fully functioning kitchen inside. A lamp that forecasts the weather by dispensing a cloud made from liquid nitrogen. These are all real products developed by the team at MiCasa Lab -- a furniture skunkworks attached to Swiss retailer MiCasa. "We wanted to create a platform where engineers and designers could experiment with new types of furniture," explains Per Cromwell, the cofounder of Swedish ad agency Studio Total, who helped MiCasa set up the lab.
Cromwell is building MiCasa into a product development centre called the Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery. It will work with eight Nordic companies from this autumn and comprise scientists, engineers and "crazy people". Projects include tiny mobile phones designed to worn be as piercings, air-powered motorcycles and, yes, flying carpets for pets.
Per Cromwell, the co-founder of Swedish ad agency Studio Total, who helped MiCasa set up the lab, said "The main objective of the lab is to experiment," "Like our flying carpet: we've created a prototype that can lift a cat or dog a few centimetres. We have a bit more research to do before we can lift a person, but we have a picture of a man watching CSI from a flying carpet that keeps us going." So what's next? "Music, film, fashion, cars, houses, perfumes, food, running shoes and politics," says Cromwell. "The majority of everything is made to blend in, but we think the interesting part is the standing out."