Hackspace hosts Design Engineering Society makeathon on moving to Mars
Advanced Hackspace hosted the Imperial Design Society on 1 and 2 February for their annual Makeathon event with the theme Moving to Mars.
by Rebecca Covey
Advanced Hackspace hosted the Imperial Design Engineering Society on 1 and 2 February for their annual Makeathon event with the theme Moving to Mars.
The topic is currently the focus of an exhibition at the Design Museum, which supports the Makeathon.
Fifty participants in ten teams spent the weekend exploring the four challenges which centred on life, climate, geology and humans on Mars, prompted by the questions “the journey from Earth to Mars is 150 days – how would you design the experience of the journey to Mars?”, and “the atmosphere is 96% CO2, the soil is radioactive – how would you design underground cities in order to colonise Mars?”
Teams worked collaboratively to ideate ways to solve these challenges and built early stage prototypes in the Advanced Hackspace workshops making use of the tools and equipment on hand such as Hackspace’s extensive suite of 3D printers, electronics and laser cutters. Hack Fellows were also on staff to offer expertise and help to hone teams’ ideas throughout the course of the event.
The weekend concluded with a pitching competition which crowned Team SpaceLark the winners of the Dyson Award, who sought to improve the dexterity of astronauts’ feet through prehensile augmentation. The Autodesk Award winners Project Nomad explored the concept of designing a mission for civilisation which would enable initial colonisation of Mars. Other teams’ problem-solving through design thinking and rapid prototyping included making showering on Mars possible by designing a closed system for water usage, enhancing astronauts’ sensory experiences in the Mars environment, and facilitating effective population growth on Mars.
The event was powered by Autodesk, and supported by the Design Museum, Dyson School of Design Engineering and Advanced Hackspace. The Design Engineering Society seeks to create community at the Imperial Dyson School by inspiring a culture of innovation through the fusion of creativity and technology.