Alexandra Lucas’ space suit for life on another planet

Textile designer and Central Saint Martins alumnus imagines a mission to Mars in her space-inspired textiles.

Would humans be able to evolve to suit life on Mars? This is something that textile designer Alexandra Lucas mused over when conceptualising her collection of space-inspired fashion and textiles called TMO: The Mars Odyssey. As a weaver that sticks to traditional methods, Lucas has an insatiable fascination with hand-making fabrics from scratch.

Like all Lucas’ textile ranges, TMO is about more than its aesthetic appeal. As much a conceptual artist as a designer, each of Lucas’ threads appear to come together in a carefully woven story. TMO is an expression of her imaginings of space exploration and human evolution – topics that have become part of an growing global conversation fuelled by future plans of a manned mission to Mars and talk of asteroids hitting earth.

Lucas explains the concept behind TMO on her website: “In an imagined world where all natural resources would have run out, a mission to Mars would be the only chance of human survival. It will be a chance to rebuild the human race, to a build a society more worthy of the planet we have abused.”

The final product of the first TMO series is a conceptual Mars Exploration Suit, which is comprised of six layers of handwoven fabrics that are intended to be shed as humans adapt to Martian life. Lucas explains: “I have woven six protective layers; a radiation layer, three pressure layers, an oxygen and temperature layer, as well as a sensory membrane layer, which detects the biometrics of the body.”

Lucas has expanded the TMO series, with TMO: The Mars Odyssey II and TMO: The Mars Odyssey III further formulating the actual design of the suit and another series, which features handwoven space badges for the suit.