Arguably, the cheapest yet good-quality furniture in the globe are manufactured by IKEA. The Swedish furniture company develops flat-pack products which are convenient and ideal in homes without having to spend more, among others.
But looking to develop more innovative solutions for a furniture which are out of the ordinary, a team of engineers at IKEA had hang out at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, playing pretend as astronauts for 3 days.
In a press release, IKEA says it is digging a bit deeper, seeking answers to questions like, “What does comfort mean for compact living?” and “How do we feel in small spaces?”
But just to be clear, the activity’s purpose is not to design furniture suited for space. Or at least not yet.
Instead, the Mars simulation is held to help the engineers realize upon themselves which design solutions will work in extreme conditions in the Red Planet, which can be applied here on Earth. Perhaps even in better ways.
“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,” said IKEA Creative Leader Michael Nikolic.
“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,” he added.
In essence, the activity is to understand how furniture should be designed in an environment wherein there are a lot of limits, just like living in the real-life Mars. It seeks to find solutions that work on a small, which can be applied to a larger one.
“I think that the essence of this collection will be about appreciating what we have on Earth: human beings, plants clean water and air,” Nikolic said.
“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.”