When drinking coffee in space, you’ll need a cup adapted to the behavior of liquids in zero gravity, naturally. Paola Antonelli, MoMA’s Senior Curator of Architecture & Design, describes their latest acquisition as the “first object in our collection designed expressly for extraterrestrial use.” This zero-G coffee cup was designed by astronaut Don Pettit:
MoMA’s collection now includes the above coffee cup, designed by engineer and astronaut Don Pettit and donated by Captain Samantha Cristoforetti.
Cristoforetti is an Italian European Space Agency astronaut, a pilot in the Italian Air Force, an engineer, and a well-documented lover of coffee. Among her many accomplishments, on May 3, 2015, she became the first person to brew coffee in space, using the experimental (and wonderfully monikered) ISSpresso machine — named for the International Space Station. Once it was brewed, Cristoforetti proceeded to consume her coffee with gusto, and careful maneuvering, using the zero-G coffee cup — a ceramic prototype of which she then gifted to MoMA’s design collection. The cup’s biomorphic shape, which helps navigate the precious drops of caffeine up and arc them into an astronaut’s mouth, reminds us of the work of several giants of organic design history, from Frederick Kiesler to Eva Zeisel and Russel Wright.