What will space exploration within the next two centuries look like? Many of us are familiar with the retro sci-fi visions of the mid-20th century, but are these images still the best representation of our future in outer space? These are some of the questions posed by the inaugural Outer Space architecture competition, organized by Blank Space — the creators of the popular Fairy Tales Architecture Competition.
For their proposals, entrants had to consider how existing scientific advances and technologies can shape futuristic visions of space exploration in the near future. The esteemed jury — which included astronaut Chris Hadfield, architect David Benjamin of The Living, Studio Drift, and Chris Precht — evaluated submissions from over 40 countries. The competition concluded with three prize winners and 12 honorable mentions.
Have a look at them below!
1ST PLACE: Charisse Foo for “The Monument to the Labors”
Charisse Foo 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.
Summary from the author: “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.”
2ND PLACE: Alberto Carbonell Crespí for “Memories of Dandelion”
Alberto Carbonell Crespí is a young architect from Alicante, Spain. 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.
Summary from the author: “‘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.”
3RD PLACE: 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.
Summary from the author: “‘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.”
Don't forget to check out the honorable mentions in the gallery below! You can read the winning entries in more detail here.
- 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, Bustler)
- David Basulto (ArchDaily)
- Matthew Hoffman (Blank Space)
- Francesca Giuliani (Blank Space)
- Anna Creatura (Blank Space)
Comment as :