Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Moon Capital

First Prize: A Beam of Power (2010), by Bryna Andersen. Image Source: Scientific American/SHIFTBoston.

On November 4, Scientific American published the results (here) of an architects' Moon Capital competition to design structures for the lunar surface.  The winning entry by Bryna Andersen, a grad student at Columbia University, is above:
"for her vision of a solar energy collector on the moon. She capitalized on ideas put forth by astrophysicist David Criswell of the University of Houston, who advocates building lunar-based solar-power collectors and sending the energy to Earth via radar beams. Andersen designed a power tower composed of thousands of fiber-optic cables, built from the moon's powdery soil, or regolith. Her vertical station would also provide energy for a horizontal moon base below, which she envisioned as serving employees and tourists or acting as a research base for future space travel and exploration." 

Finalist: A Gradual Sprawl (2010), by Mengni Zhang. Image Source: Scientific American.

Finalist: Home, Safe Home (2010), by Gareth Leech. Image Source: Scientific American.

Finalist: Mining for Food (2010), by Anthony Di Mari and Alberto Govela. Image Source: Scientific American.

From the Scientific American report (there are more pictures there and at the SHIFTBoston site):
"With the recent discovery of a significant volume of water on the lunar surface, the idea of the moon as a livable habitat has become just that much more plausible. A new competition, Moon Capital, turned the question of what that habitat will look like over to the imagination of architects, engineers and artists. Let's say it is the year 2069, exactly a century after the first lunar landing. The colony has finally been built. What does it look like? What do the moon-dwellers need both to survive and to enjoy their new surroundings? The competition was sponsored by SHIFTBoston, an organization dedicated to the future of the urban environment, together with the Google Lunar X PRIZE and the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), to name a few. The call for ideas encouraged applicants to propose submissions ranging from the practical—what will people need to live, and how will they do so?—to radical, creative solutions for the moon as a travel destination. More than 100 designs poured in from around the world. Some planners built entire cities with detailed descriptions of how to fulfill the inhabitants' living needs. Others took a more fantastical approach, designing whimsical sports venues or suggesting the modification of DNA to create organisms better able to function in an extraterrestrial environment."


  1. I screamed like a little kid to see these, for reasons that I hope will become clear within the next year or so (ongoing projects, must keep mostly mum).

  2. Yeah, they're very good aren't they? Can't wait to see what your projects are, Kate, your blog Suppertime Sonnets is wonderful (especially yesterday's entry about the fridge).

    These pics are a nice mix of architecture, engineering, and sci fi - there were some curmudgeonly complaints on one of the boards where these images were posted, stating that they weren't scientifically viable. But the call for designs allowed stretching the imagination. I think they all look interesting, particularly the one that one first prize, which seems to take all the stuff floating around right now, and push it one step further.

  3. It does indeed look brilliant! Now someone at NASA or ESA or in private industry needs to start actually *doing* it.