On Oct. 21st, 2010, I had the wonderful opportunity of attending the Moon Ball event hosted by Shift Boston at Cyclorama (The venue was spot on for this event).
Shift Boston is an organization whose mission is “to promote the future of the urban environment”. Three verbs used to describe themselves: GATHER. INSPIRE. IMPLEMENT.
“We are here to catalyze change.”
The Moon Ball event was in celebration of the Moon Capital International Competition in which these questions were posed: “What if we were to occupy the moon by 2069? Might the Moon become an independent, self-sustaining and sovereign state?” . Participants were asked to develop lunar concepts on Moon habitat spaces.
A series of speakers shared ideas, theories and experiences about space architecture/travel before the winner of the Moon competition was announced. Two speakers who distinctly stood out to me were Constance Adams and Jeff Hoffman.
Constance Adams, who was a member of the design competition jury and whose roots stem in architecture, shared her personal insight on the presence of earth within space. And how we, as humans, are part of the earth. We are the moving, mobile earth. If we touch down on another planet, we are Earth.
Named as “Emerging Explorer” by Nat Geo, Adams also shared the fact that humans are the only animals that use physical tools and how this has led to our advancement.
Tool (as defined by dictionary.com): Anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose.
The creating then innovating of physical tools for efficiency, well being and entertainment has brought us to the current state of being on Earth.
Hearing Jeff Hoffman (IMG above) of NASA speak live was mind blowing. Firstly, Hoffman has been to space 5 times!!! His last being in 1996. Amazing. Secondly, he has floated in space, outside of the shuttle, as he stated, “600 miles from Earth, in between the Earth and Heaven”… Wow… Hoffman first began with how spiritually touching his trips have been. The adrenaline rush of transitioning in gravity. The discipline and curiousity necessary to be in touch with an unexplored environment.
By far the most interesting point addressed that whole evening was by Jeff Hoffman. Hoffman brought up the point of what if the handicapped and elderly being the first to inhabit the Moon. The thought of disabled people not having to worry as much about their conditions put a smile on my face. Hoffman mentioned how once occupying Las Vegas, Nevada was out of the question because of climatic changes. And now look at the area? He said if citizens’ pension plans instead financially contributed to Moon living, in its research or living stages, how big of a step that could possibly be.
Some random facts Hoffman mentioned:
- It takes approximately 8.5 minutes to reach space when launching from the States. (Imagine looking down and seeing Africa in a matter of minutes.)
- A space suit weighs about 300 pounds. (Gravity less space in itself could sustainably change inhabitants.)
- Weight transition when returning to Earth is toughest. (The feeling of weight returning very heavily.)
Other points mentioned by guest speakers:
- The thought of ‘space’ within space. How would architectural thinking have to adapt to a zero gravity environment? A new world of product design and construction.
- Will we soon be testing the capability of morphing human DNA to better suit a Moon environment?
When having the pleasure of speaking to Jeff Hoffman after presentations, discussion came up on the functionality of bio suits and next steps for innovation. Being a designer that currently works in the sport industry and often times taking into consideration the functional aspect of fashion, many points brought up in a circle of us were stimulating.
Check out the finalists here:
And more information on upcoming Shift Boston events: