Visitation rights at Mars Society’s Desert Research Station in Utah.
Credit: IKEA

The world’s largest furniture retailer, IKEA, has turned its eyes to the skies and is delving into “space pod” furnishings – such as creature comforts within a Mars habitat.

IKEA specialists spent three days at the Utah-situated Mars Desert Research Station, a program created and managed by The Mars Society. The IKEA idea is to explore how spaceship thinking can be applied to tiny apartments in mega cities around the world.

Creative Leader at IKEA, Michael Nikolic, heading into the Desert Research Station habitat.
Credit: IKEA

Boundaries and restraints

Marcus Engman, Design Manager at IKEA Range and Supply, explains: “Small space living is a fact in space and we want to learn from that as this is a reality to more and more people. We are curious to see what makes a space travel homey, what boundaries and restraints you need to work with and bring that knowledge into our product development…to use space knowledge for a better everyday life on Earth.”

According to IKEA, for the first time in history, more people live in cities than in the countryside. Another data point comes from the United Nations that says this number will be 70 percent in 2050.

Therefore, urban challenges such as small living spaces will lead to changes in the home, IKEA’s website explains. “Already today downsizing and micro living is a reality in big cities. Hence, more people are and will be in need of new solutions for their homes.”

Architect and expert in spaceport planning, Constance Adams.
Credit: IKEA


Life on Earth

In human space travel, small spaces are at the max by necessity.

IKEA saw the space connection as a way to learn what scientists and engineers are considering for spaceflight to Mars, and apply the lessons learned to products and methods for everyday life at home, here on Earth.

Credit: IKEA

“When you design for life in a space craft or planetary surface habitat on Mars, you need to be creative yet precise, find ways to repurpose things and think carefully about sustainability aspects,” says Michael Nikolic, creative leader at IKEA Range and Supply. “With urbanization and environmental challenges on Earth, we need to do the same.”

Sketching out the future.
Credit: IKEA




Curious collection

IKEA designers are now sketching out how best to solve the interior of the Mars habitat, drawing upon their expertise and visiting the Mars Desert Research Station to make an extraterrestrial home feel like home to people, even if it is on the Red Planet.



The organization says they’ll be unveiling their “curious collection on Space” in 2019.

BTW: Interesting factoid: IKEA is derived from founder’s initials and hometown – Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd.


Check out this IKEA furniture for space video at:

Also, go to IKEA’s informative website on the Mars habitat research and other efforts at:

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