IKEA is going where no furniture store has gone — Space, the final frontier. Soon we will have space saving furniture birthed from knowledge gained on a mini “IKEA Mars Mission”.
During its annual Democratic Design Days in Älmhult, Sweden, IKEA revealed that the company is collaborating with NASA! I must say, IKEA is constantly surprising and upping its game, looking for inspiration where no one has. In this extra-terrestrial collab (well, not quite. We have no lift-off, Houston), the Swedish furniture store launched a team of IKEA designers into a spacecraft-like environment in Utah. In what looks like the former home of Mark Watney, the team gets a simulated taste of living in outer space for 3 days. All this, in hopes of discovering clues to make our lives on earth a little better.
What are the conditions facing the IKEA team at the MDRS Habitat?
Yup. Sounds a lot like life in urban cities too.
“This collaboration is not about IKEA going to Mars, but we are curious about life in space, the challenges and needs, and what we can make out of that experience for the many people,” says Michael Nikolic, creative leader at IKEA Range and Supply. “When you design for life in a spacecraft or planetary surface habitat on Mars, you need to be creative yet precise, find ways to repurpose things and think carefully about sustainability aspects,” he added. “With urbanisation and environmental challenges on earth, we need to do the same.”
The team is curious to find out how this newfound space knowledge might be relevant to the urban life in mega cities, where small-space living, air and water pollution is the norm. IKEA also wants to make a better everyday for astronauts and figure out how to make a Mars habitat feel like a real home.
So, what’s it like living in “Mars”? Michael says it’s like camping, sans all the earthly comforts we take for granted on a daily basis. He adds, “After this journey, it’ll probably feel pretty awesome to come home to my own bed.”
The out-of-the-world space saving furniture will available in 2019.