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Ideas contest launched for lunar colony

The Moon
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An open international ideas and design competition is being held for Moontopia, a self-sufficient lunar colony

The competition, supported by the Buckminster Fuller Institute, seeks ‘innovative’ ideas for a self-sufficient community of humans on the Moon, and aims to explore the potential for space tourism and boost scientific understanding of extraterrestrial habitation.

‘Half a century after the lunar landings, attention is moving back to the moon,’ says the brief. ‘This time, however, we are tired of just walking … what we want is to inhabit.

‘We ask you to design innovative solutions for Moontopia, the first ever self-sufficient Lunar base or colony designed for living, working, researching and – why not – a little space tourism too. How will mankind exist on the Moon? You decide.’

The Moon is believed to possess basic materials to aid human habitation, such as oxygen, iron and aluminium.

Between 1969 and 1972, beginning with the landmark Apollo 11 mission, 12 people walked on the Moon and, after more than 40 years of absence, many believe mankind’s return to be long overdue.

Space architecture is now a growing sector and widely expected to boom in the coming century. Three years ago Foster + Partners developed plans for the European Space Agency for a multi-domed moon base constructed from 3D-printed lunar soil (pictured).

Creating a liveable base on the moon could be an important step in the human race’s journey to becoming a multi-planetary and galactic species able to travel between star systems.

Participants are free to define their colony’s function, size and phasing, but must harness scientific know-how to guarantee a self-sufficient community. Proposals must consider the potential difficulty of sourcing, manufacturing and transporting construction materials on the lunar surface. Schemes that harness modularity, flexibility and compatibility with existing space module systems are also encouraged.

Submissions to the competition, organised by Eleven Magazine, must feature two A1-sized display boards together with a 500-word explanation and an optional concept model. The competition is open to architects, designers and academics. 

The winning team, to be announced on 11 January, will receive £2,000, while a second place team will receive £400. An additional winner chosen by public vote will be awarded £100.

The deadline for submissions is 11 November.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

Contact details

Building 6000
Langstone Technology Park
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 23 9283 1247
Email: info@eleven-magazine.com




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