In the context of Rethinking the Future, a Future on a new planet doesn’t seem so far-fetched, does it? Surely, there is reasonable doubt in the question of the given circumstances – New Planet, New Life, New Architecture, and New Everything – really? Although, if it would be up to me, I would just counter-attack the doubt with a simple – “Clean slate” – and how about that?

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Illustration ©Derek Edgell

New World Working Bees

Do you know how many rockets have been launched since “The Space Age” started? 5,038 rockets. All of them of non-reusable character, meaning as the rocket is launched into space, falls apart in the process of “flying” until its essential component-the payload reaches orbit and continues its journey to the marked destination. Do you know where those “fallen-apart” parts fall? In our oceans.The amount of waste, the endangering of the sea-life world. However, the debris is not the only “catastrophic effect” of this space-devoted journey, there is also the burning of the rocket’s fuel, which has an unbelievable toxic effect on our “already not so great” breathing-air situation and the environment.

Now, we are entering a new era. An era where a rocket would be re-usable, able to launch, then get its job done, and come back in one part on the launching pad on Earth. Sounds better, right? A lot better in fact. SpaceX is an aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company that works on reusable spaceships and reusable-rocket science exploration and manufacturing, to reach a goal set out from their founding in 2002 – reducing space transportation costs to enable colonization on Mars. Trying to bring us closer to the New World and with that the New World Architecture.

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Illustration ©SpaceX

Why the need for a New World?

As humans, we are inclined and therefore wired to explore, be curious, and strive for newness, and greatness. Everything you see around you comes as a result-testament to that crucial drive of the human being. And reaching for new frontiers and New Worlds of our Solar System seems more like an imperative task of our existence, rather than a luxury. We also bear the culpability of making wrong on so many frontiers of our planet – global warming, extreme weather events, endangering oceans and the life of its species, mass extinction of wildlife species, and growing risk of nuclear wars. And this motion of the New World will help us start anew and do better. 

My point-being does not revolve around the idea “we mishandled and took for granted this world, so hey let’s just start a new one”. It revolves around the idea of demonstrating the ability we uphold to design and to build a new future for us and the new generations to come, implement our thus-far gathered knowledge of previous mistakes (to not be repeated) and do-goods to follow, arise a new world with a better conscience, care, and system, learn from the new, thus subsequently implement it back on our Earth. Like a New World for both the new one and the old one. 

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Illustration ©Dominique Evans

Architecture Old World 

Terrestrial architecture evolves as much as we allow it, and our freedom of imagination, action, and realization for that matter is limited by the space we are offered to work with. Our architecture is still in an evolving phase, it would probably always be. It grows as we humans do, as our capabilities and potential possibilities grow, as our world grows. Except in the last decades, albeit the technology has grown, our humanity managed to stretch itself to the far ends of the contrast, between caring for the actions and reactions taken to ensure a better future, and the greediness of our nature that steers its ship towards the enrichment of capital, without caring for the iceberg of consequences on the way. This disparity is an imminent motion that divides us apart as a species.

Many of us try and work on exertion regarding the monumental importance of sustainability and better care for our Earth and all its life. 

We as architects try to do our part, and some of us succeed. However, the struggle is real and slow. Therefore, unfortunately, the other team is in lead. And for once, we need the win. The World demands a good win, the one that ensures a good life for each and every-one of us, especially for the new generations to come. And here comes the New World.

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Illustration ©Sara Annapolen

Architecture New World

So, how about a new planet to work with? This would offer us new possibilities for better tomorrow and potential that we need to explore deep within our outlines of imagination and creativity. As many have tried, and more are yet to design different characters of architecture intended for life on Mars, if (fingers crossed) we get the chance to get there, It would be foolish of us, as architects and as human beings, to dismiss the opportunity of a clean slate for humanity, clean slate for architecture, clean slate for a hopefully more sustainable lifestyle and better care for nature and wildlife. And it all begins with architecture, first research centers, first temporary shelters, and eventually first homes. 

The new standards for New World architecture would ensure the forthcoming chance of recuperative motion of humanity’s lifestyle. No unnecessary debris and waste, self-sustainable agriculture, sustainable materials for building, something similar to “back-to-the-basics” type of constructive substances, maybe even originating from the Red Planet, location wise. The essential technology would still serve us, and its usability will be well incorporated into the completion of these designs, in case I scared you there for a second with the “basics”. An architecture that will extend holistically to the environment in question, transcend the over- technologically-minded approach that we somehow resolved to depend so much on in the last century here on our Earth, all while deeply cooperating with the must-have-technological know-how that is required to host humans on Mars.

Everything but mundane, you see, New Planet, New World, New Chance for all of us.

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Illustration ©JPL-Caltech

Conclusion

I may be part of the few that do believe this world would change, and should for that matter. That it will become part of a bigger picture, a part of something that now seems impossible and unreachable, but hey, we are only humans, and we are wired to hope. So let’s direct that hope into a determining mechanism of innovation that will push us a step closer to “that impossibility”. If we as principle guardians and caretakers of this Planet take the side of what appears immutable, our evolution would stop. Simple as that. The future is a permutation of uncertainty, and in that, we can find a lot of challenges, defeats, a lot of newness, but also triumphs. We owe ourselves and our future a try.

Author

Viktorija Vitanova is a fifth-year student at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Architecture, Slovenia. She received a bachelor’s degree of Arts in Architecture from American College Skopje, North Macedonia. Her interests lie in the theory of architecture, an abstract undertake of architectural projects, and the socio-psychological aspect of architecture.

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