Ikea helping scientists design homes on Mars


Ikea is helping scientists develop living spaces designed to house humans on other planets using its expertise to improve tiny habitats.

The Swedish furniture giant has been asked by the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah to help it outfit future homes on the Red Planet, according to Fast Company.

Ikea’s interior designer Christina Levenborn visited MDRS, which is designed to mimic the hostile conditions on Mars, two years ago to conduct research for a range of Ikea furniture designed for very small living spaces.

Now Levenborn has been asked to use her expertise to redecorate the living space, which measures around 26-feet high and consists of six small bedrooms, a kitchen, a shared lab and a workshop area.

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MDRS believes that learning to live in these tiny living spaced will be essential in the future, where long interplanetary flights in space shuttles and makeshift homes on planets with limited resources will be the norm.

Researchers spend months at a time in MDRS to help figure out how to deal with the challenges of everyday life on another planet, like growing food and how to breath using oxygen tanks.

Ikea has conducted research over the past few years based on thousands of interviews about what makes a house feel like a home, and this is where Ikea has been asked to provide help to MDRS.

“We tried to work with products for small-space living situations that could be arranged in a flexible and multifunctional way,” Levenborn stated.

“For the habitat, we brought products on wheels for mobile living, stools for seating, and table surfaces and stackable chairs for saving space.”

All of the products used in MDRS, including hanging organisers and hooks, USB chargers, solar powered lamps and even watering cans, will also be available for customers trying to decorate tiny homes.

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