IKEA is always looking for new learnings and ways of making things better. When we learned that NASA and Master students from Lund University School of Industrial Design were working on what is needed for a three year space travel to Mars, we asked if we could join.
“At IKEA we love doing the impossible, and what is more challenging than exploring space? Small space living is a fact in space and we want to learn from that as this is a reality to more and more people. We are curious to see what makes a space travel homey, what boundaries and restraints you need to work with and bring that knowledge into our product development. To use space knowledge for a better everyday life on earth”, says Marcus Engman, Design Manager at IKEA Range and Supply.
Life on earth is constantly changing. For the first time in history, more people live in cities than in the countryside and according to UN this number will be 70% in 2050. Urban challenges such as small living spaces will lead to changes in the home. Already today downsizing and micro living is a reality in big cities. Hence, more people are and will be in need of new solutions for their homes. In spaceflights, small space living has always been a reality. IKEA will therefore tap in to what scientists and engineers learn from spaceflight to Mars, and apply these discoveries to products and methods for everyday life at home, here on earth.
“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. When you design for life in a space craft or planetary surface habitat on Mars, you need to be creative yet precise, find ways to repurpose things and think carefully about sustainability aspects. With urbanization and environmental challenges on earth, we need to do the same”, says Michael Nikolic, creative leader at IKEA Range and Supply.
As part of this project IKEA will also look into the habitat which NASA are planning to put on Mars. We will look at how we together can solve the interior of the Mars habitat, where IKEA will contribute with our experience and knowledge about what makes a home feel like home to people, even if it is on Mars.
The curious collection on Space will launch in 2019.
For future behind the scenes stories about this project, visit our blog www.ikea.today