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Moontopia Lunar Architecture

With the passing of Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, earlier this month it seems only fitting that Design Magazine Eleven should reveal the winners of their recent Moontopia Competition. One winner and eight runners up were selected by the panel of NASA designers, space-architects and academics...


Moontopia – An Out Of This World Challenge 

In 1969, the space race peaked with the success of the Apollo 11 mission bringing the first man to walk on the moon.

Today, nearly half a century later, new technological advances and a renewed desire to explore space are igniting a new race. This time, however, we are tired of just walking.

We want to inhabit! But how? 

This was the premise of Moontopia, Eleven’s first international ideas and design competition on space architecture.

For this challenge, they asked thinkers, architects, designers, artists, academics and visionaries from around the world to imagine innovative solutions for Moontopia – the first ever self-sufficient lunar colony designed for living, working, researching and – why not – a little space tourism too…

What started as a far-fetched challenge turned into one of the most interesting and successful competitions Eleven has done to date. They received entries from all over the world and every continent.  Some were students others professionals, some participated in teams others as individuals, but all of them stepped up to the challenge and submitted some pretty amazing conceptual Moontopias of all shapes, sizes and scopes.

Coming out on top was TEST LAB by Monika Lipinska, Laura Nadine Olivier, and Inci Lize Ogun.

A medium-scale lunar colony, Test Lab invasions a base point in the frontline of space exploration and Lunar colonisation. Beautifully presented in their sheets, this winning team have developed a design which acts as an initial base on the Moon to conduct further testing on our satellite. The architecture can be allowed to grow and construct itself through a method of 3D printed self-assembly, gradually colonising the Moon over time. The most important structure of the Test Lab is the outer membrane. Based on a simple origami pattern and made of programmed carbon fibre, it has the ability to shape itself once it senses pressure variation with the first solar wind.

Finishing second (above) was MOMENTUM VIRIUM in L1 by Sergio Bianchi, Jonghak Kim, Simone Fracasso, Alejandro Jorge Velazco Ramirez, and third (below) was MODULPIA by Alessandro Giorgi, Cai Feng, Siyuan PanEsteban Analuiza.

You can see the rest of the winning entries over at Eleven Magazine’s website here.