Martian DIY

JOIN THE INTERIORS TEAM

We are looking for people to help us design and make the interiors for our real, functioning Martian House.

The majority of our future visions are technocratic and placed in the hands of specialists only. Our house provides a place for alternative visions of the future – looking at what is possible to build here and now, through people with different skills working together.

The role 

The house will be built as a blank canvas. The interiors team will work alongside the artists to design and make prototype objects to go inside. We’ll be thinking together about how to decorate the inside of the house and what objects might be inside – from what you’d want your bedroom to be like, to what soap you’d use or how you’d clean your house. 

Things we make might range from larger items like furniture, a low power shower or a kitchenette, to the smaller items of everyday living like Martian clothes, a toothbrush and toothpaste, or wallpaper. 

Together we will explore ideas, and decide what needs to be made, responding to the house and scenario of being in a house on Mars. 

Our prototype items will go inside the house for the public to see. 

What objects do you really need around you?

What might you make if you didn’t have everything at your disposal like on Earth?

How can we live well if we only have the minimum? 

We’ll be making things that are:

  • Easy to repair 
  • Multi functional 
  • Zero waste 

This is a voluntary role. We have a pot of money for materials to make the interiors, although it is small. The project is about being resourceful and we will need to make this stretch and find materials for free or recycled where possible.

What will you be doing?

  • Spending time in our Martian House 
  • Attending weekly meet-ups with the artists to discuss ideas, on Saturday afternoons in M Shed Square. 
  • Working on and developing your projects outside of the sessions.
  • Designing and making items for the interior of our martian house.

You should apply if: 

  • You’re the type of person who likes working on projects at home
  • You’re an ideas person
  • You are a maker – can sew, do woodwork, DIY, electronics, coding, pottery, painting, gardener, generally crafty (we don’t need you to be an expert but want to have a go)
  • You are interested in space 
  • You are interested in resourcefulness and self sufficiency  
  • You are self motivated 
  • You like discussing your ideas within a group and receiving feedback 

Key dates

First meet up on: Saturday 13th August 2-4PM, in M Shed Square, Bristol City Center. 

Then every Saturday until the end of October. We expect people to be able to come regularly on most of these Saturdays (if you’re going on a holiday for a couple of weeks that will be fine!)

Closing date for applications – midnight on 30th July.

We will get back to all applicants by 6th August.

Perks 

Whilst we have no money to pay our interiors team we can offer the following:

  • Take part in a project that has been 7 years in the making, contributing to something at the key moment of realisation!
  • Opportunity to discuss your ideas with specialists on the project team, such as scientists working on the NASA Insight Lander (currently on Mars).
  • Opportunity to display your work, that will be seen by people in the public context of the Martian House, in Bristol City Center.
  • We will be hosting a special Martian Dinner party for the interiors team.
  • It will be a generally nice time! Hanging out in a Martian House and making ideas.

How to apply

We are keeping this application process as simple as possible. All we’d like to know is a bit about you. We just want a few sentences about who you are and why you are interested. You don’t need to be the best at writing, just show us your enthusiasm. 

Submit your application via this link: 

https://forms.gle/pLx7jNNbQDgZNm4z5

How is our Martian House different to a house on Earth?

Mars has a thin atmosphere and high levels of radiation. Our Martian house is designed to protect the people that live in it. The lower floor is designed to be underground, maybe in the lava tubes that are already on Mars. It could be prefabricated on Earth, re-using life support systems from the rocket, and dropped into the ground on arrival. It contains a special Environment Control and Life Support System room with all of the life support systems to keep you alive on Mars. The upper floor will be sent flat packed and inflated on arrival, this will make it as light and small as possible to transport. The walls would be filled with the Martian soil (regolith) on arrival, making use of local, readily available materials. This soil could be solidified using a bacteria that has been tested in the Sahara desert to solidify sand. Our prototype uses air, instead of regolith, so that we can reuse it. 

Concept design – Hugh Broughton Architects

We have an airlock on the way in to stop the air escaping and to allow people arriving in spacesuits to remove them safely before moving into the house itself.

On the top floor, there is a big window because during our workshop process lots of people spoke about wanting to be able to see the stunning landscapes of Mars, to enjoy the scenery and appreciate where they are. In a solar storm, the radiation risk is higher, so people would have to go downstairs and stay underground. But for limited times, they would be able to enjoy the views and sit in our hydroponic plant living room. This area is part of a research project ‘Growing Liveable Worlds‘ led by artist Katy Connor, to explore new ways of living well with plant species. There will also be space to make food in a kitchenette, where some of the salads and herbs grown in the living room may also be eaten. 

As well as the Environment Control room, the lower floor (underground on Mars) has two small bedrooms. These are people’s only private space, something that was very important to most of the people that we met in our design workshops. They will be filled with people’s ideas around; comfort, personal possessions and identity. There is also a small toilet and shower room. Our toilet has been provided by Duravit, prize winners in the NASA luna loo competition. Duravit has designed us a Martian loo, with low water use and no toilet paper. 

Throughout the building the lighting, which has been designed and donated by Whitecroft Lighting, provides a homely feel. We ran a competition to design a 3D printed pendant light fitting, which saw entries from Bristol school children to international designers. The winning entry is installed at the top of the stairs. 

The house is powered by solar panels, designed to support a low power lifestyle. On Mars, a second power source would be needed for backup (in case of a dust storm for example). However, our house is a work in progress so we are inviting you to help us decide what that second power source should be. Will we be cycling to power our laptops for work, or will we grow algae for a bedroom night light? 

Our Martian House is not complete. We will be working with the public to fill it with colours, designs, inventions and ideas for future living. What we are showing you is just one version of a Martian House. This is not a final design, but a conversation starter.  It is a place to research, experiment and start conversations. We all have a stake in the future and a role to play. Looking at Mars offers a clear lens to think about how we live on Earth here and now.

Visualisation of Building A Martian House in M Shed Square. Image credit Hugh Broughton Architect and Pearce+

Artworks, experiments and Martian DIY

When the house opens, it will be a blank canvas. During August – October, we’ll be working on the interiors with members of the public. Details of how to get involved in the interiors team will be posted on here soon – it will be open to anyone who is enthusiastic and has some time to get involved. 
 
We’ll be thinking together about how to decorate the inside of the house and what objects might be inside – from what you’d want your bedroom to be like, to what soap you’d use or how you’d clean your house. We’ll be making prototype items that will go inside the house for the public to see. 
 
 
 
 
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