IKEA engineers are off to the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah to – what else? Design a new line of compact-living furniture for cash-strapped Earthlings.
Because these meatballers want to get a taste for what hanging out in a typical Mars capsule is really like. You know – tight quarters, space toilets, sterile designs and the like . .
“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,” Commented IKEA Creative Leader Michael Nikolic in a statement.
Now given that a plan to colonize Mars is still in its infancy, what’s the rush on space designs?
Well . .
Think about the Tiny House Movement that’s become trendy in recent years. More and more earth-loving, energy-conscious folks these days have ditched their hefty mortgages in favor of a simpler, albeit more compact, lifestyle – on or off the road.
As I note in my recently published debut book, Do It Anyway: Deep Spirituality Meets Real Life:
“I first discovered this trend on, yes, you guessed it, Facebook. Where else? Intriguing pictures of small, compact homes, usually built on a trailer, and offering the individual or couple a sense of freedom, independence, eco-sustainability and a mortgage-free lifestyle. In many cases these little solar-powered homes, varying in size from 120 square feet to perhaps 220 square feet, could be constructed (labor and materials) for approximately $20K, depending on one’s specifications . . .
When I think of the multitudes, singles or couples, who work 60-plus-hour weeks, just to pay for the palatial property that they never get to spend any time in, it just makes me wonder . . . what’s the point?
So, I’m all in favor of the downsizing/tiny house movement and commend those who can make it work. It’s an inspiring, environmentally conscious witness to a more simplified lifestyle. One of treading lightly on the earth and its resources and, for those who can liberally embrace the concept, an attractive alternative to the huge overhead expenses associated with running even the average-sized American home. Although not designed with families in mind, these simple homes may well inspire a corresponding downsizing in family home design and expense.”
~ Chapter 16 ‘Treading Lightly‘
So if the IKEA ‘Space Cadets’ can create new modular designs from their virtual Mars travel – it’s worth the investment. Whether it’s for a cramped Manhattan apartment or a tiny house trailer home.
Gimmicky PR? Sure—but a flat-pack mission to Mars is still cool in my book. As our planet gets more crowded—and less comfortable— the thought of downsizing and simplifying our lifestyle becomes all the more appealing.
In 2019, IKEA plans to release a collection of space-inspired items. As Nikolic remarks, “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—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.”
Here’s to the IKEA Space Engineers of the 21st century. Way to go Meatballers!
Cover Photo: Pixabay
Image Insert: Wikimedia Commons