There is a risk that the packaging becomes too complicated, too expensive and overfuzzy,” he said. “Consumers want frictionless packaging, not only in terms of functionality. The packaging needs to work environmentally and socially as well.”

Many would say those boxes have been ticked by the design agency Tomorrow Machine, a Stockholm-based design agency.

The agency’s selfie packaging has generated a lot of excitement even though it is not yet commercially available. So far they’re still research projects, self-initiated or developed in collaboration with the Swedish research company Innventia.

Tomorrow Machine

Tomorrow Machine consists of Anna Glansén and Hanna Billqvist. Sustainability is at the core of their philosophy, but their unusual approach to packaging design derives from something else.

There’s some very interesting packaging design out there, but most of it is created by graphic designers,” said Glansén. “Hanna and I are product designers, and we wanted to create brand new types of packaging, sustainable and smart.”

Their first project to get noticed was called This Too Shall Pass. “Take a milk carton, for instance,” added Glansén. “The milk is consumed quickly, but the carton takes years to decompose. So we began developing packaging with the same lifespan as the foods they contain.”

The concept was based on the fact different liquids and materials react differently to each other. From that sprang the idea of creating packaging where the packaging itself worked in symbiosis with the content. For example, water melts sugar but oil does not, so sugar is an ideal material for packaging oil in.

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