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IKEA Designers Are Living in a Mars Simulator to Get Furniture Ideas

June 9, 2017, 6:05 PM UTC

IKEA has sent some designers to live in a cramped, spaceship-like environment that simulates the experience of living on Mars.

The IKEA design team will spend three days at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, living in almost complete isolation and having to relearn many things they take for granted such as using the toilet and taking a shower.

“It’s a crazy, fun experience… 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,” said IKEA Creative Leader, Michael Nikolic.

While IKEA hopes to contribute to NASA in some way during this project, it is primarily interested in how the knowledge and experience of living on Mars can be applied to life on Earth.

IKEA Head of Design Marcus Engman told WIRED that the company will come up with a space-themed collection of furnishings in 2019.

“I think that the essence of this collection will be about appreciating what we have on Earth: human beings, plants clean water and air. But also diversity and a sense of belonging,” Nikolic says.