The idea of humans living on Mars has been part of the collective imaginary for ages. Several science fictions have toyed with the possible scenarios we might face on the Red Planet. However, for architect, filmmaker, and author Vera Mulyani, the idea of living in Mars is not impossible. The Indonesian-born and French-raised founder and CEO of the Mars City Design Project is dedicating her life to making this a reality. This is why she has become the world’s first Marschitect.
Vera Mulyani, from Filmmaker to ‘Marschitect’
Vera obtained a master’s degree in Architecture, Landscape, and Urban design from the Ecole d’Architecture de Nantes, in France, back in 2001. She began working with Rudy Riccioti, one of the most prestigious and renowned architects in France. After that, Mulyani was part of the design team for the Louvre Museum. She then went on to publish her thesis book, which she titled “F*** da Rules”. Her thesis centered on the idea of “Recycled Cities” and opens a discussion (with much criticism) regarding the urban design of Manhattan. She suggests the transformation of areas that industrialism damaged, and trying to recover such spaces, turning them into sustainable, environmental-friendly areas.
Back in 2010, Vera obtained a master’s degree in Filmmaking from the New York Film Academy. Then, she went on to produce three short films. She was able to successfully crowdfund two of her short films, “The Melody of Choice” and “Elah and the Moon”. Both short films received quite positive reviews and were part of the Cannes Film Festival selection.
The Mars City Design Project
When Vera moved to Los Angeles, she was inspired by the ideas of Space X CEO, Elon Musk, regarding how Mars could be colonized anytime within the next ten years. That’s when she decided to fund the Mars City Design project, hence becoming the first Marschitect ever. Through such collaborative project, Mulyani aims at exploring different ways on which life on Mars could be sustainable and viable. She states that being able to survive on Mars is not enough, and that “we must develop a way in which we can sustainably live and love on Mars”.
The Mars City Design holds an annual call for projects submissions. Through this competition, they encourage architects, scientists, engineers, and artists to share their vision of human colonies on this planet. Even though she is the Marschitect looking for colonies on Mars, Vera Mulyani’s work also includes ways to improve living conditions on Earth.
Will We Ever Colonize Mars?
Despite the amount of research and resources that humans have devoted to the idea, humans colonizing Mars remains a fantasy. However, thanks to the work of projects like Mars City Design, we might be able to accomplish such a fantasy. It’s been almost 50 years since the Moon landing, which everybody thought was impossible. The same might be the case for the first crew of humans to set foot on the Red Planet.
The Marschitect Vera Mulyani and her honorable team remain hopeful and even optimistic about the odds. And even if landing on Mars never becomes a reality, they still thrive for innovation and sustainable ways of living. As Vera mentions, they focus on Mars as a way to inspire and generate innovative and creative ideas, which can, in turn, give answers to problems we are currently facing on Earth already.