Dr. Michio Kaku reminds us of the scientific possibility that DNA originated on Mars, arriving on Earth via debris from a giant meteor impact. He explains that “the DNA molecule is continually terraforming the Earth,” sharing Dr. Robert Zubrin’s observations that life on Earth has been shaping our atmosphere, soil, oceans and climate for the last four billion years. In this sense, terraforming is not a foreboding concept, but rather a natural process inherent to life.
Colony takes this understanding of terraforming and combines it with deep thought about the definition of life to produce a utopic design fiction in which novel Martian ecosystems are seeded with biological Earth organisms and managed robotically.
Imagined on a future Mars in which an artificial magnetosphere has been implemented and orbiting mirrors heat the ice caps, Colony proposes a vision for ecopoiesis: seed pods containing robotic super-insects and carefully selected biological organisms are dropped on the surface of Mars. Programmed with behaviours based on social insects such as bees and ants, the super-insects build colonies using Martian regolith. They then arrange the organisms within the regolith structures and begin a process of monitoring and management similar to the way some ants cultivate fungi and aphids.
Using fuel drawn from microalgae, the super-insects are responsible for ensuring the survival of the biological organisms, and thus exist in a symbiotic ecosystem containing artificial intelligence and organic life. Possessing sufficient intelligence to adapt to environmental conditions and modify behaviours, as well as carry out repairs on other super-insects, the proposal imagines that both ecosystem biota and artificial intelligence will rapidly adapt, spreading across and under the Martian surface and evolving into novel lifeforms suited to their conditions. They will contribute to the terraforming of Mars in the same sense that life has and continues to on Earth.
Able to collect data and communicate with scientists on Earth, the super-insects allow humans to witness the emergence of new lifeforms within designed ecosystems, providing valuable scientific knowledge and challenging ideas about the meaning of both ‘life’ and ‘nature’.
Colony is a vision for sustainable terraforming which is not inherently anthropocentric but is centred, rather, around life. This process will be slow, requiring life to evolve in a feedback system with the Martian atmosphere as its chemical composition changes and it thickens and warms. However, resulting forms of life will be Martian, and some may eventually reach conscious intelligence.
While the proposal does not take the sustaining of human life as its objective, it does not preclude it – the initial landing pods are suitable for human habitation and can be occupied by researchers on short visits or by pioneering human populations should Mars’ biosphere become able to support human or transhuman existence.
Colony seeds an interplanetary future with a symbiotic ecosystem of artificial intelligence and extra-terrestrial life, questioning the anthropocentric focus in space travel dialogues and imagining an alternative future where life can manifest in new organisms.
Colony is about ensuring the future of life, rather than humanity.
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Eleven's competitions are the ideal arena for generating pro-active international think-tanks in a whole variety of contemporary hot topics and contexts: from social issues to environmental threats, new technologies, shifting urban landscapes, exotic ecological havens, product design, fashion and - why not - even outer space!
We love competitions because they are instrumental in highlighting emerging talent and starting design-led revolutions around the world.
Our challenges have had exhibitions in Europe and the USA, published in multiple international magazines such as the Architecture Review, the AJ, Dezeen, Archdaily and Designboom, and consistently win awards year after year.
AWARDS & ACHIEVEMENTS:
2015 - Our inaugural competition 'Cambodia' wins the 3rd place in Bustler’s ‘Top-10 Best Competitions of the Year' Awards, and Eleven is officially in business.
2016 - 'Moontopia' is featured as 7th in Bustler’s ‘Top-10 Best Competitions of the Year' Awards.
2017 - Eleven becomes the most popular competition portal in the world with a double-whammy placement two competitions - 'Rome' (winning 3rd place) and 'Planetarium' (arriving in 5th place) - being featured in the top-5 places in Bustler’s ‘Top-10 Best Competitions of the Year' Awards.2018 - Watch this space...
Andrew Maynard (Andrew Maynard Architects), Arthur Andersson (Andersson-Wise), Camillo Boano (The Bartlett, UCL), Christine Murray (Editor in Chief, Architectural Review), Elena Douvlou (Metropolitan University of Athens), Ingrid Bille (BilleByeSheid), Massimo Forese (+39 Architects), Mathilde Marengo (IAAC, Barcelona), Perry Hopper (Grimshaw), Shaun O'Rourke (BAC), Tom Kundig (Olson Kundig), Andrea Verenini (Editor, Eleven).
* This event was run in support of the Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC) charity.
Amy Frearson (Deputy Editor of Architecture, Dezeen), The Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI), Carlos Arnaiz (CAZA), Chris White (BIG), Hasdai Westbrook (Editor, Impact Design Hub), John Barton (Dean of Architecture, Stanford University), Jonny McKenna (Metropolitan Workshop), Karen Nelson (Dean, BAC), Leon Roast (BIG), Lewis Knight (Gensler), Kristi Loui (Gensler), Matthew Mazzotta (MIT), NAP+P Architects (Winner of Cambodia 2015: consisting of members Natthapol Pongplanchai, Planin Chantalert, Porncharoen Orbanratmanee, Pratchaya Lertruck Sadee), Roger Hawkins (Hawkins/Brown), Trent Tesch (KPF), Andrea Verenini (Founder, Eleven).
* This event was run in support of the Project Night Night charity.
ASPECT Studios (Winners of San Francisco 2016), Alberto Villanueva Galindo (IDEA Architecture Office), The Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI), Brent Sherwood (NASA), Christina Ciardullo (Carnegie Mellon University), Kriss J. Kennedy (NASA), Andrea Verenini (Founder, Eleven).
Alexander Walter (Editor, Archinect & Bustler), Jan Utzon (Utzon Associates Architects), Richard James MacCowan (Biomimicry Institute UK), Timothy McGee (LikoLab), Yaniv Peer (Exploration Architecture), Marko Brajovic (Atelier Marko Brajovic), Andrea Verenini (Founder, Eleven).
Patrik Schumacher (Director, Zaha Hadid Architects), Francesco Gatti (3Gatti), Francesco Lipari (OFL Architecture / Cityvision Magazine), Emanuel Jalbert (In Situ), Lorenzo Catena, Onorato di Manno and Andrea Tanci (SET Architects), Eloise Carr (Editor & Creative, Eleven), Andrea Verenini (Founder, Eleven).
Christina Ciardullo (Architectural Designer and Educator), Thomas Wang (Partner, Ennead Architects), Lars Lindberg Christensen (Head of Education and Public Outreach, ESO), Dan Goods (Artist in Residence, NASA JPL), Eric Hanson (Founder and Partner, xRez Studio), Jim Sweitzer (Astrophysicist and Museum Consultant), Stephen Dubois (Secretary, Middle Atlantic Planetarium Society), Charles Beichman (Executive Director, NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, Caltech / NASA JPL), Dennis Cohen (Creative Director and Experience Designer, Ralph Applebaum Associates), Eloise Carr (Editor & Creative, Eleven), Andrea Verenini (Founder, Eleven).
* This event was run in partnership with Christina Ciardullo and sponsored by the Middle Atlantic Planetarium Society (MAPS).
Abeer Seikaly (Architect & Cultural Designer), Narinder Sagoo (Partner, Fosters + Partners), Hakan Gürsu (Founder & CEO, Designnobis), Amro Callam (Executive Director, Architecture for Society), Karina Ashrapova (Winner, Eleven's Biomimicry Competition), Eloise Carr (Editor & Creative, Eleven) Andrea Verenini (Founder, Eleven).
* Poster graphics designed by Concept BRE.
Beks Ndlovu (CEO, African Bush Camps), Derek Solomon (Animal Behaviour and Communication Specialist/Author/Private Guide), Rob Janisch (Biomimicry and Genius of Nature Guru/Private Guide), Chris Browne (Owner, Fox Browne Creatives), Debra Fox (Owner, Fox Browne Creatives), Charlene Hewat (CEO, Environment Africa), Eloise Carr (Editor & Creative, Eleven), Andrea Verenini (Founder, Eleven).
* This event was run in partnership with African Bush Camps and also in support of their charity African Bush Camp Foundation.
Andrew Aldrin (Son of legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Director of the Buzz Aldrin Space Institute), Alberto Villanueva Galindo (Architect and Academic, IDEA Architecture Office), Jessie Andjelic (Founding Partner of SPECTACLE and Head of Mars Studio at the University of Calgary), Marc Guberman (Team Leader of the Mars Habitat Project and Partner at Fosters + Partners), Stefano Boeri (Founding Partner, Stefano Boeri Architetti), SEArch Architects (Awarded first place in NASA’s 3D Printed Mars Habitat Challange), Vera Mulyani (CEO and Founder, Mars City Design), ZA Architects (Directors and Co-Founders Dmitry Zhuikov and Arina Agieieva), Monika Lipinska, Laura Olivier and Inci Ogun (Winners of Eleven's Moontopia Competition), Eloise Carr (Editor & Creative, Eleven), Andrea Verenini (Founder, Eleven).
* Competition friend: Mars City Design
Adam Vickers (Managing Director of Squareyard Landscape Architecture), Wayne Hemingway (Chairman at CABE and Founder of Hemingway Design), Max Farrell (Senior Partner at Farrells), Lisa Kinch (Associate Architect at Farrells and Lecturer at Manchester School of Architecture), Katy Lock (Policy Manager at Garden Cities and New Towns, Town and Country Planning Association), Steve Sheen (Housing Strategy and Partnerships Manager at Manchester City Council), Andrea Verenini (Founder, Eleven).
* This event is run in partnership with BETA Events, sponsored by Square Yard, and is part of the event BETA Housing 2018 (12 July, Manchester, UK).Malecon (Havana) Jury Team:
Peter Noever (Professor, Principle at No/Ever Design and original member of the 'Havana Project'), Wolf D. Prix (Professor, Principle/CEO at COOP HIMMELB(L)AU and original member of the 'Havana Project'), Theodore Hoerr (Founding Principal, Terrain Work), Paul Bulkeley (Design Director, Snug Architects), Carl Prusha (Professor, Director at CP Architects and original member of the 'Havana Project'), Carlos Arnaiz (Founding Partner, CAZA), Eloise Carr (Editor & Creative, Eleven), Andrea Verenini (Founder, Eleven).Plastic Worlds Jury Team:
Chris Precht (Founding Partner, Penda), Luca Maccarinelli (Associate, Spark* Architects), Michael Pawlyn (Founder, Exploration Architecture), Richard James MacCowan (Founder, Biomimicry UK), Safia Qureshi (CEO, CupClub), Shannon Royden-Turner (Founder, Actuality), Eloise Carr (Editor & Creative, Eleven), Andrea Verenini (Founder, Eleven).
Sponsoring a competition is a great and fun way to not only support creative innovation and foster talent but also raise your profile and visibility. We offer a wide range of sponsorship packs tailored to fit all budgets and designed to maximise your global outreach.
If you like what we do, then why not inquire about how you could sponsor a competition today? Contact us to find out more.