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IKEA Trains With NASA to Create Compact Storage Ideas for Urban Homes -- Will They Design for Mars?

Jun 14, 2017 10:37 AM EDT
Ikea announces collaboration: with NASA
Ikea collaborates with NASA to create new compact space saving solutions. Are they going to make designs for Martian homes, too?
(Photo : Ikea/YouTube)

Swedish compact furniture brand IKEA is taking space-saving ideas in space! IKEA teamed up with NASA in a collaboration where their designers were locked up in a simulated space-like environment in Utah in order to find inspiration for compact furniture designs for small spaces.

During the confinement in a spacecraft-like environment, the IKEA designers shared their experience to the company's headquarters in Sweden. The company says that outer space has always been an "interesting topic" for them, and since compact living is best exemplified in spacecraft and space labs, they deemed it necessary to work with NASA on this collaboration.

The project is linked to Martian habitats and the designers wanted to incorporate their learnings in designing small space storage for urban homes. With the help of the Martian simulation, the designers will be able to experience how it is to live in literally otherworldly, cramped spaces like on Mars.

IKEA designers spent three days in the Mars Desert Research Station habitat in Utah. The simulated Martian environment provided the designers with ideas of how Martian homes should be built. The IKEA designers completed a mini "Mars Training Program" for this project.

"It's a crazy, fun experience. We're basically completely isolated for three days to get a taste of what astronauts go through for three years. It's almost like that misery you feel when you're out camping. But of course, it's great to be able to sit down and really spend time with amazingly creative people. That in itself is a luxury," IKEA Creative Leader, Michael Nikolic, said.

This will also help designers to relate their new experience in urban life in cities today. Most cities are configured to work with small-space living. The learnings from the mini Mars training program also helped the company see the bigger picture.

"I think that the essence of this collection will be about appreciating what we have on Earth: human beings plants clean water and air. But also diversity and a sense of belonging -- things that we take for granted on a daily basis. After this journey, it'll probably feel pretty awesome to come home to my own bed," Nikolic added.

The designers wanted to redefine small space storage with the help of NASA. And if it works on Martian simulated space, then it should definitely work on Earth.

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