Moving to Mars: Design for the Red Planet



ISBN: 9781872005461 Category:

Justin McGuirk, Alex Newson


Arrive. Survive. Thrive.

Getting humans to Mars has become one of the great challenges of our time. Mars holds the potential of human settlement, and the promise of life after Earth. Some of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs, architects and engineers are dedicated to conquering this next frontier.

Moving to Mars: Design for the Red Planet is one of the first books to focus on the crucial role that design will play in this collective endeavour. From the capsules that will need to keep passengers in harmony during their nine-month journey, to the habitats that they will live in, to the terraforming of the landscape to make it life-sustaining, every detail needs to be designed. This task is falling to the traditional space agencies such as NASA, and to private entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk and Richard Branson, and to architects such as Norman Foster. As well as technical and practical solutions, this book will examine how design and design thinkers are approaching our move to Mars in unexpected ways.

With striking, rarely-seen imagery and a unique design-led focus, this book will appeal to ‘space junkies’ and design enthusiasts alike.

Additional information

Weight 846 g
Dimensions 24.9 x 17.9 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 6 January 2020
Number of pages 192
Format Hardback
Dimensions 24.9 x 17.9 cm
Weight 846 g


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Justin McGuirk is chief curator at the Design Museum. He has been the design critic of the Guardian, the editor of Icon magazine and the Head of Design Curating and Writing at Design Academy Eindhoven. He is the author of Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture (2014), and co-editor of Fear and Love: Reactions to a Complex World (2016), California: Designing Freedom (2017) and Home Futures: Living in Yesterday's Tomorrow (2018).

Andrew Nahum is a curator and author on the history of technology and design. He has created numerous exhibitions at the Science Museum and recently curated the acclaimed Ferrari: Under the Skin at the Design Museum (2017-2018). His books include Fifty cars that changed the world, (2009, 2017), Alec Issigonis and the Mini (2004), Frank Whittle: invention of the jet (2017) and Ferrari: Under the Skin (2017).

Eleanor Watson is assistant curator at the Design Museum. Her previous exhibitions include Beazley Designs of the Year (2017 and 2018) and Imagine Moscow: Architecture, Propaganda Revolution (2017). Eleanor is responsible for the museum's programme of free public displays, including the first retrospective of UK architect Peter Barber, '100 Mile City and Other Stories'. Outside of her work at the museum, she is acting as curator of the 2019 edition of Global Grad Show.

Mike Ashley has been researching and writing about science fiction and fantasy for over fifty years and has compiled over a hundred books including The Age of the Storytellers (2006), Out of This World (1989) and the multi-volume History of the Science Fiction Magazine (1974). He was awarded the Pilgrim Award for Lifetime Achievement in science fiction research in 2002.

Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg is a multidisciplinary artist examining human relationships with nature and technology. She is lead author of Synthetic Aesthetics: Investigating Synthetic Biology's Designs on Nature (2014). Better, her PhD from the Royal College of Art, interrogated how powerful dreams of 'better' futures shape the things we design.

Lydia Kallipoliti is an architect, engineer and scholar living in New York. She is assistant professor at the Cooper Union, founder of ANAcycle thinktank and author of Closed Worlds, Or, What is the Power of Shit (2018). She holds a SMArchS from MIT and a PhD from Princeton University.

Stephen L Petranek is the author of How We Will Live on Mars (2015). He has spoken on the TED conference main stage three times, and his TED talk about Mars has been watched nearly five million times. He is co-executive producer of National Geographic's Mars documentary series. He was previously editor-in-chief of Discover and The Washington Post Magazine and editor for science at Life Magazine.

Kim Stanley Robinson is an acclaimed writer of science fiction who has written more than twenty novels including the bestselling Mars trilogy Red Mars (1992), Green Mars (1993) and Blue Mars (1996). He has won every major award for science fiction writing including the Nebula, Hugo, Asimov, John W. Campbell Memorial, Locus and World Fantasy Awards.

Fred Scharmen teaches architecture and urban design at Morgan State University. He is the co-founder of the Working Group on Adaptive Systems, an art and design consultancy based in Baltimore. His first book, Space Settlements - on NASA's 1970s proposal to construct large cities in space for millions of people - was published in 2019.

Anna Talvi graduated from the Royal College of Art, School of Design in 2018. Her development of next-generation spacesuits is informed by symbiotic research across sartorial design, smart materials and biomedical engineering.