Dubai schoolgirl honoured at design competition for prototype of chair fit for use on Mars

Krisha Vaidhya, 8, designed an armchair after being inspired by the UAE's Hope Probe

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A Dubai schoolgirl won a design competition for adults with her prototype of an armchair that is fit to be used on Mars.

Krisha Vaidhya, 8, participated in the iForDesign competition, organised by the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation.

The competition was open to students, entrepreneurs and the wider community to redesign the humble chair. More than 250 people took part in the contest last year and the results were announced on November 8.

It also has a temperature controlled seat and bullet and ash proof glass, which helps during volcanic eruptions

Krisha’s mother, Navita Hakim, obtained special permission from the organisers as she was too young to participate in the contest.

The pupil opted to enter the "future" category with her design for a chair to be used on Mars once the country colonises the planet.

Krisha, who studies at Dubai International Academy in Emirates Hills, created the prototype using recycled materials and made a short video to explain its many features, earning herself an honourable mention from the judges.

There were two prizes for the category she entered. A designer won the first prize and Krisha was honoured for her "idea and purpose" behind the design for her chair.

She won Dh3,000 and a small 3D-printed version of her chair. She hopes to have a large 3D version printed one day too.

Krisha said the chair, which is designed to be used both inside and outside of the house, features legs that double as a levitation device, with boosters to keep it afloat while manoeuvring the harsh volcanic surface of Mars.

"It was inspired by the recent launch of the Hope probe from the UAE," said Krisha, who is from India.

Dubai schoolgirl Krisha Vaidhya won a competition for design professionals after designing a chair inspired by the UAE's Mars Mission. She won Dh3,000 and received a 3D printed version of the chair as her prize. Pictured at her home in JVC, Dubai on April 22nd, 2021. Chris Whiteoak / The National. 
Reporter: Gillian Duncan for News
The prototype of the chair is made of recycled materials. Chris Whiteoak / The National

“It also has a temperature-controlled seat and bullet and ash-proof glass, which helps during volcanic eruptions, as there are many on Mars," she said.

Ms Hakim said her daughter was an avid reader.

She named the prototype Krisha's Kursi, a reference to chair in both Hindi and Arabic.

Krisha said she was surprised, but delighted, to earn a mention from the judges of the competition.

Ms Hakim said she initially dissuaded her daughter from entering the contest.

"I was on Instagram one day and she kept peeping into my phone. She was trying to see what I was doing," she said.

When Krisha saw the competition posters, she started pestering her mom to let her enter the competition.

“I said sorry, you are not a design professional or a design student,” Ms Hakim said.

“But she kept pleading. So that night I messaged them to see if they would allow Krisha, who was seven then, if she could participate. They came back and said why not? If she has ideas, she can definitely go ahead and participate.”

Ms Hakim said her daughter had always been creative.

"This is a perfect example of how technology and screen time can actually be used for good by children."

Images sent by Hope Probe