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.

Christina Ciardullo represents SEArch at ESA Closed Habitats Forum in Laussane, Switzerland; Wins first prize sketch for Closed Habitat design

"The purpose of the Closed Habitat Forum is to foster synergies between terrestrial and space exploration’s sciences, R&D and technologies in the field of resource sustainable management and safety (i.e safe use by humans) in order to capitalise on investments in Life Support Systems and Space Exploration activities for civil markets/societal benefits (including emerging societal challenges) and leverage on terrestrial research for space exploration."

Screen Shot 2019-04-05 at 3.05.12 PM.png

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.