Plus, the winners of the 2021 Skyscraper Competition, MIT researchers develop a novel programmable material, and more design-tech news from the week.
The Skidmore, Owings & Merrill–led investigation into building a lunar habitat will land at the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale this year. The design proposal, which won an honorable mention in ARCHITECT’s 2019 R+D Awards and was developed in partnership with the European Space Agency, the MIT Media Lab, and the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, will take the form of an exhibition dubbed Life Beyond Earth. The exhibition will lay out the “proposal for a new type of space architecture—a sustainable ecosystem that will support a human presence on the Moon in the decades to come,” and open to the public on May 22, according to an SOM press release.
Aiming to answer the 2021 Biennale’s theme “How will we live together?”, the exhibition “offers a powerful message for a world still in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic—a reaffirmation of the importance of space and its benefits for all societies,” states the same release. “At the same time, it illuminates how space habitation research provides insights into human coexistence and resource utilization that can also be applied to problems on earth.” [SOM]
A team of MIT researchers has developed a novel material that changes color and patterns in response to a flash of ultraviolet light. The ChromoUpdate system uses light-activated dyes whose properties are altered when exposed to a UV light projector, revealing alternative colors and patterns in minutes. Although the researchers have their sights on translating the research into a form of programmable textile, the current ChromoUpdate system has the potential to speed manufacturing by reducing the need to produce prototypes in a range of different colors and styles. [MIT]