IKEA Looks to NASA & Mars for Small Space Inspiration

IKEA’s latest collaboration is out of this world—literally. The Swedish retailer is partnering with the folks at NASA and Lund University to help create space saving furniture for space travel, as well as here on Earth.

The exciting collaboration was announced at the company’s annual Democratic Design Day at their headquarters in Älmhult, Sweden. It’s a unique partnership between NASA and the Ingvar Kamprad Design Center at Lund University to “create a curious space collection,” set to launch in 2019.

It’s a partnership in two parts. First, NASA and the university’s Master’s students are working together to explore what is needed for a three year journey to Mars, and IKEA will use that knowledge to better inform small space living on Earth; they “will tap into [NASA and the students’] learnings and apply these discoveries to products and methods for everyday life at home,” according to a statement.

Second, IKEA will “look into the interior of the habitat that NASA is planning to put on Mars and will contribute to the development of that habitat with experience and knowledge about what makes a home feel like home to people, even if it is on Mars.”

Does that mean we might see a BILLY bookcase in space? Not exactly. “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, as reported by Dezeen.

“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,” adds Nikolic. “With urbanization and environmental challenges on earth, we need to do the same.”

When you think about it, space is the ultimate small space challenge, so who better to tackle it than IKEA. We can’t wait to see what alien furniture comes out of this collab.

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