The exhibition Moving to Mars at London’s Design Museum explored putting humans on the red planet as the final frontier for design. One part of the show looked into the role that design plays in keeping astronauts safe during the voyage to Mars, which can be a seven- to nine-month journey locked inside a spacecraft. "It's not just about making sure that people can be kept healthy and fed. It's also about making it tolerable" - says Justin McGuirk, curator of the exhibition.
With this in mind, my first instinct for designing a dining table for the astronauts was to do away with the over-engineered feel of the usual furniture inside space ships. Rather than seats, POWOW provides a circular rail that astronauts can perch on, with their feet held inside floor straps to stop them floating away. The central round table has a telescopic column, which allows to be sunk flush into the floor. With just the circular rail left POWOW turns into a freed up sociable space that encourages the valuable ritual of gathering during the long journey.

Project assistant: Marc Gerber (KG-Design)
Client: Design Museum London