If you’re planning to spend the night (and many more nights after that) on Mars, you might want to forget any dreams of a king-size mattress or any sort of luxury accommodations. Martian living will be all about function—as in, making things work without any extra cushions.
This is why a team of IKEA designers spent several days in a prototype Mars habitat brainstorming about space furniture.
When you think of what it would be like to live on another planet, think minimal, especially when it comes to sleeping arrangements. Blasting things off into space is already expensive enough without adding extra pillows to the payload. Bedrooms and bathrooms and every other room as you know it will be redesigned to fit micro-habitats for future Martians. The furniture that takes up space where we live needs to be modified for living in space.
Designer Robert Janson told NBC Mach that he and his team “quickly realized the necessity of privacy” in the proto dwelling, and that furniture can be significantly shrunken down without taking away the need for that.
IKEA is already known for its trademark minimalism and build-it-yourself furniture that could become staples of Martian interior design. They’re even coming up with a collection inspired by what they experienced in the simulated Mars habitat. Jason realized that most of what we lounge and sleep on is way over the bare minimum for being able to get in eight hours of shut-eye without having to turn into an overnight contortionist. When you’re not asleep or kicking back and marathoning something on Netflix, most of your furniture just sits there taking up room that could have much more useful purposes in compact quarters.
Mars needs lightweight, portable, multi-functional furniture, like beds that fold out from the walls. Anything you take with you to Mars will need to survive both microgravity on the spaceship and low Martian gravity. Spaceships that can convert into habitats kind of like Transformers are always a plus. It isn’t just IKEA taking off with these ingenious ideas. Ultrathin, stackable carbon fiber chairs are Swiss designer Thomas Missé’s answer to drastically reducing transportation costs. NYC-based designer Christine Lew has prototyped spacesuits you can wear in the shower and insta-drying vacuum-suction bathrobes. Many of these advances in design could also turn into more environmentally conscious options for homes on the home planet.
The ambience in your pod won’t need to suffer totally, even with the constant grind of machinery necessary to keep humans alive in a place with almost no atmosphere. Virtual windows could take you back to Earth with 3D scenes that almost make you believe you’re looking out at a suburban lawn or a beach resort instead of the monotony of an endless dusty landscape.
Until Earthlings do start becoming Martians, you can have sweet dreams on your memory foam mattress.
(via NBC Mach)