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Foster + Partners Awarded Top Prize in NASA’s 3D-Printed Mars Habitat Challenge

14:10 - 5 May, 2017
Foster + Partners Awarded Top Prize in NASA’s 3D-Printed Mars Habitat Challenge

NASA has announced the completion of the initial printing stage of NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, awarding Foster + Partners | Branch Technology and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks as the two top-scoring teams from this round.

After Phase 1 of the competition (won by Clouds AO and SEArch) tasked architects and engineers from around the globe to imagine hypothetical concepts for the habitation of Mars, Phase 2 is challenging designers to manufacture actual, 3D-printed objects using techniques that could be employed to create shelters on a future mission to the red planet or beyond.

KieranTimberlake is Using Virtual Reality to Design a Home for Future Life on Mars

09:30 - 21 March, 2017
KieranTimberlake is Using Virtual Reality to Design a Home for Future Life on Mars, The virtual Mars City base. Image Courtesy of KieranTimberlake
The virtual Mars City base. Image Courtesy of KieranTimberlake

This article was originally published by Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Life on Mars? Architects Lead the Way to Designing for Mars With Virtual Reality."

If an architecture firm is lucky, it can hit two birds with one stone on a single project—for example, prioritizing both historic preservation and energy efficiency. But a team at KieranTimberlake, based in Philadelphia, is aiming for four ambitious goals with its pro bono project, the Mars City Facility Ops Challenge.

Architects Fátima Olivieri, Efrie Friedlander, and Rolando Lopez teamed up with National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), NASA, and the Total Learning Research Institute (TLRI) to create a virtual working city on Mars—one that might reap multiple rewards.

Open Call - 24H competition 13th

15:13 - 27 September, 2016
Open Call - 24H competition 13th, 24H competition _ mars
24H competition _ mars

Ideasforward wants to give young creative people from around the world the opportunity to express their views on the future of societies through their innovative and visionary proposals.

We are an experimental platform seeking progressive ideas that reflect on emerging themes.

This Mars Colonization Proposal Would 3D Print Biodegradable Fungus Towers that Leave No Trace

09:30 - 14 February, 2016
This Mars Colonization Proposal Would 3D Print Biodegradable Fungus Towers that Leave No Trace, Courtesy of Alberto Villanueva
Courtesy of Alberto Villanueva

After NASA’s discovery of water beneath the surface of Mars earlier this year, and the subsequent critical and popular success of the movie The Martian, it's safe to say that the planet named after the God of War is all the rage. Those revelations have led to speculative looks at how our neighboring planet could be colonized from numerous designers, such as Norman Foster.

Many of those plans, including those of SpaceX founder Elon Musk, involve dumping Earthen construction materials onto the alien surface, potentially starting an inclination for pollution of our new world before it is even occupied. Spanish architect Alberto Villanueva of IDEA Architecture Office saw this as an opportunity for design to intervene. Using Martian soil and the fungus mycelium, Villanueva proposes a strategy utilizing 3D printing and bioluminescence that has gained the attention of both NASA and the European Space Agency.

Courtesy of Alberto Villanueva Courtesy of Alberto Villanueva Towers lit with bioluminescence. Image Courtesy of Alberto Villanueva Courtesy of Alberto Villanueva +11

Will This Be the Concrete Used to Build on Mars?

16:00 - 6 January, 2016
Will This Be the Concrete Used to Build on Mars?, Clouds AO and SEArch won NASA's Mars Habitat Competition with a 3D-printed house made of ice; would Martian concrete have been a simpler option?. Image © Clouds AO and SEArch
Clouds AO and SEArch won NASA's Mars Habitat Competition with a 3D-printed house made of ice; would Martian concrete have been a simpler option?. Image © Clouds AO and SEArch

"All we need now are a new generation of Martian architects to design buildings made of Martian concrete that will be suitable structures for humans to live and work in," concludes the MIT Technology Review in their report on a new type of concrete designed for use on Mars.

Developed by scientists led by Lin Wan at Northwestern University, this "Martian concrete" is just one of many scientific developments that will be required for the increasingly popular goal of sending humans to, and eventually colonizing, the Red Planet (apparently the un-colonized Moon is already old hat - just ask Matt Damon).

Clouds AO and SEArch Win NASA's Mars Habitat Competition with 3D-Printed Ice House

13:10 - 2 October, 2015
Clouds AO and SEArch Win NASA's Mars Habitat Competition with 3D-Printed Ice House, ICE HOUSE. Image © Clouds AO and SEArch
ICE HOUSE. Image © Clouds AO and SEArch

NASA, who recently confirmed evidence of flowing water on Mars, has deemed SEArch (Space Exploration Architecture) and Clouds AO (Clouds Architecture Office) winners of the 3D Printed Habitat Challenge for Mars. Sponsored by NASA and America Makes, the teams were asked to use indigenous materials and 3D printing techniques to build a habitat for four astronauts on Mars. SEArch and Clouds AO's first prize proposal, ICE HOUSE was awarded $25,000, ahead of 30 other shortlisted practices

"Recognizing that water is the building block to life, the team used a ‘follow the water’ approach to conceptualize, site and construct their design," said SEArch and Clouds AO. "[Our] proposal stood out as one of the few entries not to bury the habitat beneath regolith, instead mining the anticipated abundance of subsurface ice in the northern regions to create a thin vertical ice shell capable of protecting the interior habitat from radiation while celebrating life above ground."

Foster Among 30 Shortlisted in NASA-Backed Mars Habitat Competition

14:53 - 25 September, 2015
Foster Among 30 Shortlisted in NASA-Backed Mars Habitat Competition, © Foster + Partners
© Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners has been shortlisted among 30 other finalists in the 3D Printed Habitat Challenge organized by America Makes and NASA. The proposal calls for a 3D printed settlement built by pre-programmed, semi-autonomous robots who use regolith found on Mars' surface to construct dwellings that can house up to four astronauts each. 

"The proposal considers multiple aspects of the project from delivery and deployment to construction and operations," says Foster. "The habitat will be delivered in two stages prior to the arrival of the astronauts."