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Ikea Taps into Mars Research with Designs

Monday, December 9, 2019

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Swedish furniture company Ikea is embarking on a new project: designing spaces for Mars.

Two years ago, Ikea sent designers to the Mars Desert Research Station, located in Hanksville, Utah, which was established in the early 2000s to mimic the conditions on Mars for researchers and students.

Designer Christina Levenborn stayed in the habitat and ultimately started creating designs for small spaces not only inspired by that stay, but for the habitat spaces themselves.


Swedish furniture company Ikea is embarking on a new project: designing spaces for Mars.

The habitat is a domed cylinder measuring about 26 feet high consisting of a shared housing, lab and work area along with a kitchen and six bunk rooms for sleeping.

The designs rely heavily on multi-use objects such as movable storage, including shelving units that are made of powder-coated galvanized steel to withstand dirt, moisture and heavy loads.

“We tried to work with products for small-space living situations that could be arranged in a flexible and multifunctional way,” Levenborn said.

“For the habitat, we brought products on wheels for mobile living, stools for seating and table surfaces and stackable chairs for saving space.”

Other Mars Work

This past spring, NASA announced its top three finalists for the 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, NASA’s latest development in its mission to design suitable shelters with the future hopes of sending humans back to the moon, Mars and hopefully beyond. The challenge, which has three phases, totals $3.2 million in prizes.

The challenge to design these high-tech dwellings started back in 2015 during the Centennial Challenges, which ended in 2017.


Tagged categories: Color + Design; Design; Interior design; NA; North America; Research

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