SEArch+ / Apis Cor led by Melodie Yashar win Top Prize in Construction Level 2 of the Phase 3 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge

Team SEArch+ / Apis Cor have placed in first place for Construction Level 2 of the Competition, the Hydrostatic test. For this level of the competition, teams submitted 3D-printed samples that were tested for their ability to hold a seal, for strength and for durability in temperature extremes. Four teams will share a $300,000 prize for successful completion of the seal test stage of the 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge.

The final printed structure before  the Hydrostatic test.

The final printed structure before the Hydrostatic test.

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SEArch+ / Apis Cor win Top Prize in Construction Level 1 of NASA's Phase 3 3D-Printed Habitat Competition!

SEArch+ / Apis Cor has won the Top Prize in the first Construction round of NASA's Phase 3 3D-Printed Habitat Competition! View the teaser of Apis Cor's amazing submission below.

Shotput / ball drop test on the Foundation prototype measuring the potential impact of meteorites on the habitat; conducted at Moscow State University

Shotput / ball drop test on the Foundation prototype measuring the potential impact of meteorites on the habitat; conducted at Moscow State University

First Place -   SEArch +/ Apis Cor
Second Place - Pennsylvania State University
Third Place - FormForge l Austin Insdustries l WPM

The official NASA announcement can be seen at:



Christina Ciardullo delivers lecture "Architecture with Space Applications" at TU Delft Space Architecture Symposium "Supernova"

Christina Ciardullo spoke on the relationship between terrestrial and extraterrestrial architecture at TU Delft's Space Architecture Symposium: Supernova. Touching on topics from sustainable and closed loop architecture, to 3D Printing and human design and building standards, Christina addressed what Space Architecture can do to benefit Architecture on Earth.

For video of her lecture along with the other presenters during the day long symposium, check out the You Tube Live Steam below

Mars Ice Home Materials Selected for MISSE-11 Testing Aboard ISS

NASA has selected Mars Ice Home for its upcoming MISSE-11 mission scheduled to launch in November 2018. Materials specified for the wall assembly of the habitat structure will be flight tested for one year aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Samples of various materials will be mounted to the outside of ISS to investigate the effects of long-term exposure to the harsh environment of outer space. At the conclusion of the exposure cycle the samples will be returned to Earth for analysis to evaluate performance.

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Mars Ice Home Featured in Vitra Design Museum Exhibition: Hello Robot

Mars Ice House is now on display at the Vitra Design Museum as part of a newly opened exhibition titled "Hello, Robot. Design between Human and Machine." The exhibition, "Hello Robot," on view at the Vitra Design Museum from February 11th through May 14th, 2017. For more information please visit: Hello Robot: Design Between Human and Machine.

From the exhibition's website:

"Hello, Robot." introduces us to robots in four steps. The first section of the exhibition traces the fascination that artificial humans have long exerted on people in the modern age and looks at how popular culture has shaped our perception of robots. The second section is devoted to the field in which robotics first made a breakthrough: industry and the world of work. Whereas robots are typically perceived in this context as a threat to jobs, "Hello, Robot." looks at the current debate on this subject from a number of very different perspectives. The spectrum of exhibits ranges here from classic industrial robots to an installation by the group RobotLab, in which a robot produces manifestos on a production line, thus questioning where the boundary lies between work that can be automated and human creativity. The third section of the exhibition shows how we are gradually coming face to face with the new technology – as a friend and helper in our everyday lives, in our households, in nursing care, as a digital companion, or even in cybersex. The fourth section looks at the increasing blurring of the boundaries between humans and robots – exemplified by our living in »learning« buildings, traveling through »smart cities«, or having smart sensors implanted in our bodies.

Mars Ice Home Featured on

Read on about A New Home on Mars: NASA Langley's Icy Concept for Living on the Red Planet

“After a day dedicated to identifying needs, goals and constraints we rapidly assessed many crazy, out of the box ideas and finally converged on the current Ice Home design, which provides a sound engineering solution,” said Langley senior systems engineer Kevin Vipavetz, facilitator for the design session.

Eric Gillard
NASA Langley Research Center

SEArch+ team at NASA Langley Research Center collaborating on Mars Ice Home, a new concept for living in space and a house on mars. Ice Home is a house in space and a home on Mars.

NASA X-Hab 2016 Mars Surface Habitat Proposals Presented at Pratt Institute

On December 10, 2016 the X-Hab Academic Innovation course presented four final project proposals for Mars Surface Habitats, culminating the fall semester. The course, taught by Michael Morris, Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman and previously by Melodie Yashar, will continue in the Spring semester to produce functional prototypes of the designs.

Melodie Yashar Presents Mars Ice House at Innovative City Forum, Tokyo

Melodie Yashar of SEArch+ and Masayuki Sono presented Mars Ice House as part of a panel on Art & Creativity in Space as part of the Innovative City Forum, hosted by the Mori Building Co. on October 19, 2016. An interview with Melodie preceding the presentation discusses the significance of space architecture within the discourse of design for extreme environments, found here

Mars Ice House Featured in Mori Art Museum Exhibition "The Universe and Art"

On July 30, 2016 the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo opened its latest exhibition The Universe and Art featuring an exhibit of the Mars Ice House proposal. The Mars Ice House installation is featured within Section 4 of the exhibition, entitled Space Travel and the Future of Humanity:

As an era of space travel for all draws closer, this section offers artists’ visions of the relationships people will have with the universe, and how our lives will change in the future. There will also be displays on the history of the US and Soviet space programs, plus the latest from the frontline of modern space development including JAXA’s International Space Station (ISS)/Kibo Educational Payload Observation Pilot Mission, Mars Ice House, and Project by Team Hakuto.

The exhibition runs from July 30, 2016 to January 9, 2017.

Exhibition Opening at the Intrepid Museum for Mars Transit Habitat Prototype Created in X-Hab Studio Course at Pratt Institute

On July 14, 2016 an exclusive exhibition honoring Pratt Institute's Mars X-Hab studio course opened to the public, featuring the final prototypes from the course taught by SEArch member Michael Morris, Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman, and SEArch member Melodie Yashar. The exhibition kicks off "Space Week" at the Intrepid Museum in Manhattan.   

Christina Ciardullo Presents Mars Ice House at ICES 2016 in Vienna, Austria

On Wednesday July 13, 2016 Christian Ciardullo presented "Mars Ice House: Using the Physics of Phase Change in 3D Printing a Habitat with H2O" at the 46th International Conference on Environmental Systems in Vienna, Austria:

The 46th International Conference on Environmental Systems (ICES) will cover all topics related to humans living and working in extreme environments with applications inside or outside of terrestrial or outer space habitats or vehicles, including aerospace human factors; environmental control and life-support system technology; environmental monitoring and controls; planetary protection; EVA system technology; life sciences; planetary habitats and systems; and thermal control systems technology for both manned and unmanned vehicles. 


NASA X-Hab Mars Innovation Challenge Studio Course at Pratt Institute


In a challenge presented by NASA, Pratt architecture and industrial design students were inspired to address design concerns related to space travel. For an interdisciplinary studio class led by Adjunct Assistant Professor of Architecture Michael Morris and Adjunct Associate Professor of Industrial Design Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman, the students worked on the eXploration Habitat (X-Hab) 2016 Academic Innovation Challenge “Human Centered: Designs for the Mars Transit Habitat,” a NASA project collaboration with academic institutions to develop a transit habitat, or module, for the exploration of Mars. The students designed the habitat and built two full-scale prototypes of elements of their design. Their work was showcased at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in Manhattan in July 2016. This short video, which was included in the museum exhibit, takes a look at the project and the design process.

Pratt X-Hab Innovation Challenge final design of the toolkit module inside of the transit habitat. A new concept for living in space, a house in space, a home in space.
Pratt X-Hab Innovation Challenge partial class photo at the Intrepid. A new concept for living in space, a house in space, a home in space.

Michael Morris, Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman, Melodie Yashar featured in Scientific American for X-Hab Course at Pratt Institute

Home Sweet Habitat: Students Help NASA Design Mars Spacecraft Living QuartersAn architecture and design class partners with NASA to develop a human-focused spacecraft environment that could take astronauts to Mars

Students Create Inflatable Martian Greenhouse in Christina Ciardullo's Course at Carnegie Mellon

From Carnegie Mellon University students are developing green thumbs for the Red Planet. Two new courses introduced this spring challenged the budding space gardeners to design and build a prototype biome in which to grow plants on Mars.

School of Architecture faculty members Christina Ciardullo and Daragh Byrne designed and led the Mars Studios as part of CMU's Integrative Design, Arts and Technology (IDeATe) Network. Students from any major can pursue one of eight IDeATe minors or concentrations.