LUNAR CRATER CULTURAL CENTER COMPETITION
First place — $1200
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project:
james LENG: MOON SEED is a speculative proposal that attempts to situate a Lunar Crater Cultural Center along a continuous timeline of human space development. This Lunar development is not the beginning, nor the final goal of humanity’s presence on the moon; it is merely a point-in-time of a perpetual, phased-project to expand human presence extra-terrestrially.
A Joint Venture
The challenge of creating a cultural center on the moon is that it cannot exist independently, but rather it must co-exist with other programs already in place that can initiate and sustain inhabitation. Given the increase of privatized space ventures at the beginning of the 21st century, the proposed Lunar settlement would likely be a cooperation between government, scientific, and commercial enterprises. This proposal envisions that a permanent settlement on the moon is a byproduct of a joint venture between three agendas: resource extraction, scientific research and exploration, and lastly, inhabitation and the associated leisure and recreation. There also exists a larger, collective dream to transform the moon’s surface into an Earth-like environment, with a breathable atmosphere capable of sustaining life.
A Generative, Phased Infrastructure
The proposal imagines the deployment of a large scale pod [MOON SEED] into the center of the crater site, a sort of infrastructural seed that contains everything that is needed to propogate a permanent lunar settlement. To achieve that end, SEED creates self sustaining energy with an integrated nuclear fusion reactor that runs on helium-3, an element more plentiful on the moon. The mining of raw lunar materials, along with the slow canibalization of SEED’s internal megastructure and shell, provide the required material resources for the production and further build up of the programmatic space – initially within the existing envelop of the shell, and eventually to independent lunar settlements along the perimeter of the crater. The final task of the SEED reactor is to gradually terraform the moon with its surplus energy generation. Over the course of 100 years, the deployment of hundreds of SEEDs will eventually create shallow lakes in the craters, and a thin but breathable atmosphere across the surface of the moon.
As the lunar settlement grows outward and the terraforming reaches a critical momentum, SEED gradually evolves from a critical piece of infrastructure to a monument and relic of its former function. SEED’s final form is also a process of the slow erosion of its initial closed shell, through the self-consumption of its own structure and shell over time. It is through these transformations in both form and function that an object of culture begins to manifest. Rather than predetermining a particular cultural program within the project, the notion of culture becomes a temporal phenomenon, a resultant of all that has come to pass.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
jL: Nicholas de Monchaux’s “Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo” and Hashim Sarkis’s New Geography research
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching?
jL: JG Ballard’s “High-Rise”, Mario Carpo’s “Alphabet and the Algorithm”, Teen Daze, Jonzi, M83
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
jL: Renzo Piano, Peter Zumthor, Junya Ishigami
Additional credits and links:
more speculative imagery on flickr.
jimenez LAI: A very clear and interesting idea, and an impressive section. The representation was stellar. The phasing of the project was also communicated very well.
david RUY: This is the most well thought out and developed of all the entries. The drawings and the renderings are refined and elegant. It is also impressive for producing the most detailed fictional narrative. As such, the project deserves recognition. However, the project doesn’t avoid the failings of the other projects that seem stuck somewhere between manipulating the imagery of science fiction and the peculiar professional orthodoxies of architectural representation (which seems so absurd for such an overtly speculative competition). The project’s main design object resembles many of the narrative props of science fiction movies (in particular the Romulan ship from the last Star Trek movie), and incorporates it well, but with no sense of irony that might have given it a more critical reading. Still, the work is exquisitely produced and, all in all, a very good project.
madhu THANGAVELU: Very nice metaphorical storytelling backed with a credible long-term vision with significant societal ramifications.
Not to mention, mature and seductive graphics that draws you in. The seed is an oft mentioned theme for extraterrestrial development . . . panspermia . . . the great diaspora . . . out of the cradle . . .
A well developed concept and a program that smoothly slides the Moon into our economic sphere of influence. Nice timeline to grapple.