Carbon fibre is an exceptionally strong and lightweight material. Composed of carbon atoms, bonded together in crystals that are parallel to the long axis of the fibre, carbon fibre and fabric woven from it have sparked countless applications since its discovery and production in 1860.
From models of sports cars like Ferrari to large free-standing roofs such as on the Apple campus in California to more common applications in furniture, aeronautics, medicine, and architecture, carbon fibre has proved itself to be a versatile a high-performance material. Weaves and composites of the fibre with resin are particularly in demand, for their high strength to volume ratio.
While there are many new carbon fibre-based inventions emerging from designers and engineers today, one stood out to us, for its ‘other-worldly’ quality. The Mars Chair, invented by designer Thomas Missé, makes a case for the use of carbon fibre and highlights its properties as an excellent material not just for the earth, but on Mars.
Missé, a graduate of the Design Academy Eindhoven and the Master program at ECAL, points to planetary colonization as the next frontier, where we will have to rely on materials and products imported from the earth before any making can take place on a planet such as Mars.
Our most significant costs then will be that of transportation, with each Kilogram transported from earth costing 5000 $. Here is where Carbon Fibre, a material customarily considered expensive, will more than redeem itself. Missé’ s Mars chair weighs less than 500 g, even when accounting for the change in gravity on Mars. This extremely lightweight chair, just 2 mm in thickness, cast from carbon fibre, can accommodate the weight of a sumō wrestler on Mars while amounting to savings of 7000 $ per chair.
Even more impressive, is the extremely efficient, and stackable design of the chair itself. Every centimeter is stackable and close to 100 chairs can be stacked within a height of 1.5 meters. Combined with the low individual weight, this highly sculpted and efficient shape, with its stackability, make this the most fruitful material and product type for transportation and life on Mars.
Missé’s project widens our lens on Carbon Fibre and its applications and exposes the potential for the material’s properties to be valuable not just in familiar realms, but for many contexts beyond.
All Images credited to the website of Thomas Missé
Designer’s Website: https://thomasmisse.fr/
Designer’s Social Media: https://www.instagram.com/thomasmisse/