Pack Your Bags, We’re Moving To Mars

By Phil Clarke, Editor of The Handbook website Phil Clarke |
18th July 2019

Moving house is always a huge hassle; wrapping every single breakable in newspaper, taking the front door off its hinges to get the fridge-freezer through, forgetting which box you put the kettle in… But what if you weren’t moving to Islington, but to Mars? Okay, I live in Wandsworth so Upper Street and the red planet are basically the same thing to me, but a new exhibition from the Design Museum will be exploring the idea of actually leaving the earth’s orbit and heading into the inky blackness for a new life on Mars. And believe me, it’s peak Tim Peake.

Tickets go on sale for this stellar new exhibition this weekend and should you be actively considering a change of scenery, and the Home Counties don’t seem quite ‘different’ enough, then it may be worth taking a glance at Moving To Mars.

How would life work on another planet? The Design Museum have brought together a team of experts to consult on how life on Mars (not the Bowie song) would operate. Because, it turns out, it’s going to be rather complex.

Semi by the moon

So first you’ll need a Mars House. The exhibition will have a full size Mars home for potential Martians to experience. Designed by London architects Hassell as part of NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge. The podlike structure, a rare sci-fi meeting of Star Wars and Hobbiton, will sustain life in comfort, using 3D printing to create a new world, and using clever techniques like recycling parachutes as bed sheets and blankets. Just be careful which walls you hammer your picture hooks into…


We’ll need to farm in space. Don’t think Theresa May running through fields of wheat, but rather something far more science-labby. The Mars house will have hydroponic farming kits and Spirulina-growing systems. Which translates as farming in fish tanks.

‘Kinda space-y’ 

Rip up your jeans (no, actually; this isn’t a fashion statement), thanks to RÆBURN’s Spring/Summer 2020 NEW HORIZON collection pieces made from solar blankets and parachutes will exemplify the make-do-and-mend mentality that Martian colonists will need adopt.

As for the seven month commute (take that, Northern Line), visitors can check out the NDX-1 spacesuit that may well be worn, designed by the University of North Dakota specifically for the surface of Mars.

Battered Mars Bars?

Fine dining is yet to reach the Martian landscape, so put away the Nando’s Black Card and instead gather round the zero gravity table. Visitors will be able to check out the newly commissioned spacecraft table by German industrial designer Konstantin Grcic.

Finally, as visitors get to the end of the exhibition, the ‘Mars Futures’ section lets guests speculate on the challenges of general life on the fourth rock from the sun – with an installation by Dr Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg that imagines ‘wilding Mars’, the concept of  just sending plant life to the planet, but not humans. As well as all this, guests can meet the actual European Space Agency Mars Rover, enjoy exhibits exploring.

So where can you get your hands on tickets for this out-of-this-world exhibition? They go on sale on July 20th (this Saturday) and are available from the Design Museum website.

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