The recreational/living module has an avowedly “Made in Italy” style that was specifically requested: in space as on Earth, Italy is synonymous with beauty and quality. It was natural for us to hark back to 1960s Italian design, revolutionary not just in terms of style but technological innovation, at a time when new plastics made it possible to create soft, organic shapes that had previously been impossible to manufacture, generating cheap, light and adaptable objects.
Working on our entertainment module design, we considered the variety of activities astronauts might perform: working, relaxing, reading, playing and listening to music, resting, looking out the windows, holding meetings and eating together.
That said, given that space in all modules must be totally unimpeded for safety reasons, we had to come up with a mobile solution: a folding fabric partition to create temporary closets or relaxation rooms, equipped with a folding chaise longue anchorable to the module’s structure. Flexible Velcro restraints on the seating makes it possible to maintain bodily posture; indeed, Velcro adorns all of the soft surfaces on the module’s inner lining to allow the crew to move around or stay in one place as required.
The chaise longues are composed of cylindrical volumes that offer the advantage of interior space. They may be converted into removable containers and shelving to stow scientific equipment and instruments, a quote to Joe Colombo’s science fiction Tube chair, the space-saving object par excellence.