Blank Space has announced the winners of the first ‘Outer Space’ competition. With submissions from over 40 countries, the entries explore future possibilities and technical breakthroughs through detailed stories and artwork.
The winners were chosen by a jury of 15 leading architects, designers, and technologists, including Chris Hadfield, Eduardo Tresoldi, David Benjamin, Chris Precht, and Sabrina Thompson.
Keep reading to learn more about the three winning projects and 12 honorable mentions.
1st: Charisse Foofor “The Monument to the Labors”
First Place goes to Charisse Foo for “The Monument to the Labors.” Charisse graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University and is a CGI designer in New York City. The proposal explores an extensive network of half-finished and abandoned space structures being revitalized by incarcerated laborers.
“Narrated dispassionately, ‘The Monument to the Labors’ imagines a future that has already been translated into history. In this recasting of the pioneer narrative, the first settlers of space are not merely brave explorers but also condemned convicts. Centering around alienation and the implications of denying humanity to the other, the story simultaneously charts the lifespan of a building: a satellite, prison, laboratory, factory, town, tomb, billboard, attraction, and symbol. These two narratives tie the privilege of dreaming to the costs of experimentation. The utopian possibilities of outer space, the great unknown, are not only the fantasies of the privileged, but also the desperate hope of the marginalized.” - Charisse Foo
2nd: Alberto Carbonell Crespí for “Memories of Dandelion”
Second Prize goes to Alberto Carbonell Crespí, a young architect from Alicante, Spain, for his story “Memories of Dandelion.” The story proposes a method of terraforming Mars with gigantic sparkling balloons filled with water, air and seeds to germinate the barren surface, and the first steps that humans take onto the surface without space suits.
“‘Memories of Dandelion’ focuses on the liminal moment of someone “living in standby,” suspended in the vacuum. The overwhelming effect of outer space into our little conception of time and, ultimately, how the providence can drive us to an unexpected beginning.” - Alberto Carbonell Crespí
3rd: Virtual Construction Lab of Schüco for “Planctae”
Third Prize goes to Virtual Construction Lab of Schüco for “Planctae,” The Virtual Construction Lab of Schüco is a multi-disciplinary office based in New York City, specializing in the design and visualization of complex facade systems. “Planctae” envisions a network of deep space travelers creating a decentralized network of quantum relays -- studying outer space and leaving the smallest footprint possible.
“‘Planctae’ is inspired by the inherent virtues of the human spirit and the technological potential of virtual connectivity, centering its architectural tectonics around the needs of an augmented astronaut on a one-way mission into deep space. While advanced AI handles involuntary ship duties, the pilot interprets collected data through scientific and artistic means, virtually sharing their findings with others despite the vast distances between ships. Virtual immersion can never fully replace physical proximity, exacting a toll even on specially trained pilots over time, but the pursuit of discovery over colonization lends them a heroic optimism and keeps them tethered to the Earth as they venture out to new horizons." - Virtual Construction Lab of Schüco
- Eric & Eva de Broche des Combes for “...the alternative is disaster”
- Ioanna Sotiriou for “Hypertopias”
- Korina Filoxenidou and Mariza Tsakona for “Earthtopia”
- Original Elephant for “Travel with the Mattergate”
- Madina Zhazylbekova for “Gravius 3.0”
- FLUX.REAL for “Red and Blue”
- Alexander Mills and Danielle Fountain for “The Valentina”
- Linus Cheng for “Voyager’s Return”
- Kat Choate and Stephen Smolko II for “Records of the Traveler”
- Nicholas Houser and Gabriel Esquivel for “Post-Singular Machines”
- Dana Salama for “Space Treaty 2037”
- Zhuoneng Wang and Wai Ching Cheng for “The Nomadic Cloud”
Astronaut Chris Hadfield on the competition results:
“It is only through our imaginations that we can create change. The fanciful science fiction of the future becomes the accepted reality of today, and thus the bedrock of history upon which we stand. Congratulations to all the creative contributors, you expanded our minds!”
- Chris Hadfield (Astronaut)
- Eduardo Tresoldi (Installation Artist and Sculptor)
- David Benjamin (The Living)
- Sabrina Thompson (NASA)
- John May (MILLIØNS)
- Zeina Koreitem (MILLIØNS)
- Chris Precht (Precht)
- Brent Sherwood (NASA Jet Propulsion Lab)
- Ralph Nauta (Studio Drift)
- Lonneke Gordijn (Studio Drift)
- Alexander Walter (Archinect)
- David Basulto (ArchDaily)
- Matthew Hoffman (Blank Space)
- Francesca Giuliani (Blank Space)
- Anna Creatura (Blank Space)