The Institut Français in the UAE bought together projects in an exhibition to be staged at Dubai Design Week 2020, exploring and creating connections between the global lockdown during the COVID-19 crisis and life in a small space such as astronauts when they are confined on the International space station.

Curated by Cité du Design de Saint-Etienne rooted in Saint-Etienne, UNESCO Creative City of Design for 10 years, the showcase consists of three projects by Anthony Vacter, Simone Fehlinger and LUX design studio, each representing French creation and research clusters through design and space.

Anthony Vacter, designer and Saint Etienne graduate presents a fiction design research project titled ‘A life on Mars’ about a possible scenario of living in outer space in the year 2050, after an ecological disaster on earth. He designed a fictional space station that could be in adequation with the life of a Martian settler. His work and objects made in 3D printing, include a scenario of architecture, furniture and technologies for different ways of living on Mars and the living conditions in a confined environment.

In line with the launch of the Emirates Mars Mission’s Hope probe, which aims to study the weather conditions on Mars ― a video installation ‘Teasing new weather TV’ by Simone Fehlinger, designer and research officer at the Cité du Design de Saint-Etienne – is staged to showcase the relationship between design, architecture, space exploration, weather imagery and actual visual and material culture. The installation shows weather as a design object questioning the link between science and fiction that conditioned (and still conditions) space exploration and contemporary imaginaries.

Mankind has always been fascinated by the stars which have inspired science fiction, clairvoyance and astronomy - whatever interpretation you give it, ‘L’ETOILE’ a largescale 3D installation by Simon Chevalier and Lucile Cassassolles of LUX design Studio – is presented and it pays tribute to the stars which have formed a discreet backdrop to our world since the beginning of time since man first stared in wonderment at the night sky.