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Why Landing on Mars Has Become a Design Project

Why Landing on Mars Has Become a Design Project

Mars has been notable for capturing humans' interest, intriguing business moguls such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos to go on a "billionaire space race" and settle on the planet. But does humanity have the right to colonize another planet? If so, who does this sky-high ambition serve? 

Since the world is stirring towards being an interplanetary society, two exhibitions; Moving to Mars exhibition at London's Design Museum and Designs for Different Futures at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, tackle the ethics, anxieties, and culture of humanity of life on Earth and beyond.

© Global Crop Diversity Trust. Image courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2019
© Global Crop Diversity Trust. Image courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2019

In London's Moving to Mars exhibition, one space outlines Mars' popularity, visualizing humanity's future arrival and survival on the Red Planet. Real-life images of life on the planet are documented in the second room, presenting a panoramic video of imagery taken by the Mars-roving vehicle Curiosity. Based on NASA's description of Mars, French perfumer Nicolas Bonneville developed an intoxicating scent that is released from diffusers all around the space, filling the exhibition with scents of a volcanic, gingery musk.

© Stephan Bogner, Philipp Schmitt, and Jonas Voigt. Image courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2019.
© Stephan Bogner, Philipp Schmitt, and Jonas Voigt. Image courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2019.

In Philadelphia's Designs for Different Futures, a large pneumatic chamber filled with water and air change shape, color, and size based on the fluctuating carbon dioxide percentage released into the space by visitors. 80 design projects, along with multi-sensory immersive experiences are spread across different thematic sections throughout the museum, highlighting complex and anxiety-inducing topics. Designer Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg produced a “scented landscape” titled Resurrecting the Sublime, made of flora that would inhabit the Earth if it were without humans. In the exhibition's section that focuses on labor, a display of humans vs. machines (the impact that AI will have on jobs, productivity, human identity...) is tackled, raising diverse questions and thoughts.

© Ed Reeve
© Ed Reeve

To learn more about the exhibitions and their displays, read the full article on Metropolis Magazine titled: Exhibitions on Both Sides of the Atlantic Ponder Future Life - on Earth, and Beyond.

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Cite: Dima Stouhi. "Why Landing on Mars Has Become a Design Project " 10 Nov 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/927894/why-landing-on-mars-has-become-a-design-project/> ISSN 0719-8884

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