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Interview - Victor Jesus Del Carpio Torres

VICTOR JESUS DEL CARPIO TORRES IS THE CREATOR OF ARCHITECTURE ON THE MOON: SPACE TOURISM AND SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH HABITAT

Architecture on the moon : Space Tourism and Scientific Research Habitat

Architecture on the moon : Space Tourism and Scientific Research Habitat

20 July 1969: Mission Apollo 11 is a success. Man sets foot for the first time on the moon. “That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.

48 years passed, and yet we are still scratching Space's surface. From the desire to express one country's political superiority, Space is expected to become a place for leisure with time. With Mars One for instance, we will get to watch the lives of the first ever human colony on Mars.

Victor Jesus Del Carpio Torres, emerging architect from Peru, decided to focus on a project that would allow extended stays on the Moon. These stays would allow Space tourism, but more importantly will be a Scientific Research Center. Because of these two different yet complementary usages, because Space Tourism would fund partly for research, Victor attached a great deal of importance over the aesthetic aspect of the structure. He ended up with this giant sphere inspired by the moon’s unique context and landscapes. The building seeks to be a frame to the Earth; it seeks to connect with celestial bodies and astronomical events with a unique architecture, resulting in new landscapes that become part of the architecture of the cosmos.

We interviewed him about his future plans and his ambitious project : 

Above all, tell us about yourself in a few words: Where do you live, study or work at the moment?

I am an architect from Arequipa, Peru. I studied architecture at Universidad Nacional de San Agustín de Arequipa (National University of Saint Augustine of Arequipa). My work is focused on architectural design, theory, urban design and planning. I am currently working in several projects and also doing research and writing.       

One sentence to tell us about your project

My project, Architecture on The Moon, is a lunar habitat for scientific research and space tourism that connects with celestial bodies and astronomical events to generate new landscapes.

Was does your project mean to you?

This project was an opportunity to explore architecture beyond Earth. For me, it means exploring new ways of making architecture. It’s an opportunity to rethink the way we live and to look in a new way our relationship with the cosmos and our place in it. For me, it’s a kind of manifesto. I always wanted to design something outside the Earth. So, although this project is not built, it has been the beginning of this exciting adventure that is designing in other worlds.

What challenges did you face during the creation process of your project?

The main challenge was the integration of the idea, the program, and the rigorous technical aspects of designing a human habitat in an uninhabitable environment. During the development, a point of synergy was key to get all the components working together as the architectural idea, which was about the building being in connection with the celestial bodies, so it means the size of the building needed to be a result from its landscape integration and its functionality. There were other challenges too, for example, redefining technical components and processes, like the typical horizontal access to a habitat, in this project the access is through an elevator that goes up 11 meters to the airlock. There were also challenges in designing the life supporting micro ecosystem and solving the 3d printing building process of the habitat, which would be made out of graphene, the material of the future.

How does it feel to try to be one of the most visionary architects in the world?          

It’s a very exciting experience to be able to compete among so many architects and designers from a lot of countries around the world with amazing projects. It gives you an image of your work’s progress, this experience gives you an enriching feedback, because you find that there is much more work to do, and you see that there is so much potential in the times we are living in that needs to be developed, and that inspires you and pushes you forward.

Do you think the Foundation played a crucial role in your project’s advancement, visibility?

Definitely. There are some aspects of my project I am seeing now that I didn’t before because of the competition, it makes you see your work critically and that produces a continuous improvement of the project, and of course, the foundation has played a key role in giving visibility to my project, something for which I am really thankful to them.

Why participate in such a competition? Would you do it again?

I would definitely do it again. I entered this competition because I wanted to be part of the enriching experience that is a competition about some of the most important current issues such as the sea, sea level rise and space. Because in terms of learning you always win, the moment you submit your proposal you have already learned and gained knowledge that will inspire you later to go even further.

 What’s the next step?

A further development of the project, there is still potential that needs to be explored, maybe I will try to take it to virtual reality, and of course try to give it more visibility to be part of debates around the issues about architecture beyond earth, because this debates produce new ideas and thinking that raise awareness around the fact that we can make architecture from and for other worlds, not just functional settlements, but architecture that means something. Also, I think we need to explore new ideas and the design possibilities of the built environment on Mars and other worlds beyond.

A word of advice for this year’s participants?

Go for it! Do not hesitate! Choose your best project or idea and develop it, imagine that it will be built, so develop it to be real not just the idea, but the whole. Make a good graphic presentation with the best quality you can, and show the best of your project, and the most important thing, have a good time in the process and make it happen!

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Interview - Shaunice Ten

SHAUNICE TEN IS THE CREATOR OF ANTICIPATORY ARCHIPELAGOS.

Anticipatory Archipelagos

Anticipatory Archipelagos

"I am shaunice, an architectural designer from the sunny island of Singapore.☀️️"

The video of her project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rdHem8Q32Y

Singapore is a small city-state in South-East Asia. With its surface area of 719.1 km², it is a challenge to find space for people to live, work, and generate natural resources. Today, with its population of 5,607,300, Singapore has a density of 7,797/km², a colossal figure for such a small state. To put it into perspective, the state is about 935 times smaller than France and yet its population is only 12 times smaller. 
Obviously, the first solution is to go upwards with gigantic skyscrappers, but this strategy has many flaws. Hence the other solution that is exploited by every coastal state : land reclamation. 

There are several techniques of land reclamation, some more environmental-friendly than others. In Singapore, they have been using sand mostly since the beginning, back in 1822, just after Sir Stamford Raffles arrived to colonize the city-state. 
In order to enhance the city and transform it from a small fishing village to an economic hub, he decided first that they should expand land onto the sea to create a port. 
The sunny island went from 581.5km² to what it is today and is not done since it's expected to grow of about 100km² more by 2030. 

Shaunice's project is a solution to expand Singapore while respecting the Sea, It envisions a restored archipelago where lands and waters are clean and have a different kind of productivity and use value - one that is more rehabilitative and remedial.

We interviewed Shaunice Ten on her and her project : 

Questions:

Above all, tell us about yourself in a few words: Where do you live, study or work at the moment?

Hi Im Shaunice, from the sunny island of Singapore. I just graduated from the National University of Singapore less than a year ago.

1. One sentence to tell us about your project

The project is a critique about the valuation of land-sea relations. It envisions a restored archipelago where lands and waters are clean and have a different kind of use value that shifts away from land for cities and seas for trade - one that is more rehabilitative and remedial.

2) What does your project mean to you?

I always feel that good architecture has to have a responsibility - socially, environmentally or culturally. It is always easy to get caught up in the capitalist system or the commercialization of architecture. In a way, this project is a voice on what architecture could or should be. It also serves as a reminder to my future self to always constantly question, rethink and envision the possibilities of our profession.  

3) What challenges did you face during the creation process of your project?

I faced two major challenges. First was to translate the research into design and the second was to ensure that the project was visionary but also believable – I took a long time researching and talking to people before someone told me about a technology that I could look into to further substantiate the project.

4) How does it feel to try to be one of the most visionary architects in the world?

Sometimes its great when I met like-minded individuals to share my thoughts/works with. From there, the discussions yield fruits and new perspectives and it fuels the passion to want to do and envision more. But of course there are those who are more dismissive when it comes to visionary projects because there are more pressing issues of today which are not solved yet – I don’t disagree with them but it can get quite discouraging at times.


5) Do you think the Foundation played a crucial role in your project’s advancement, visibility?

Yes! I am absolutely grateful for the numerous opportunities and publication/ exhibition platforms. Thank you!

6) Why participate in such a competition? Would you do it again?

I would attribute why I participated to this quote: “Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real.”― Jules Verne, Around the World in Eighty Days
If I have the time to participate again, yes definitely.

7) What’s the next step?

I’ll have to serve my bond to the private sector in Singapore till 2018. Thereafter I’m keen to work overseas to gain more experience and to get a better understanding of other cultures. Alternatively I’m also interested in academia so I will see how it goes.

8)  A word of advice for this year’s participants?

Keep up the passion! I cannot wait to see all of your works.

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