Satellite Town illustrates a future of ecological living beyond the limits of the Earth.
In a research community living in a satellite orbiting the Moon, distinct notions of self-sufficiency and sustainability are explored, each with a distinct color palette. The Forest depicts the distinctive pink glow of high intensity LEDs for crop growth; The Street imagines an underpass with bioluminescent mycelium pavements that generate electricity from footsteps; The Chapel depicts a zero-gravity projection room featuring an endless sunset against distant planets. Bringing a familiar urban concept back to its original imaginative meaning, Satellite Town magnifies the architectural notions of interior and exterior, self-sufficiency and interdependence.
Satellite Town was exhibited in New York City at Civic Art Lab (2019).
I. The Forest
The Forest depicts the distinctive pink glow of high-intensity LEDs for crop growth. By varying the amounts of red and blue light, plants can be grown optimally with custom light recipes, which can vary according to plant species and stage of growth. As these plants purify water, regenerate atmosphere, and produce food, they function as bioregenerative technology, a key component of closed ecological systems.
A dense, staggered rainforest that resembles a city, the vertical farm speaks of the urbanization and optimization of nature through technology.
Here is a glimpse into a natural world that is foreign and fantastic, constantly enclosed in strangely humid plant growth chambers, while the outside world is composed of glass and metal.
II. The Street
The Street depicts an underpass of bioluminescent mycelium pavement tiles that generate electricity with every footstep. Energy-generating pavements already exist, and a new wave of biomaterials such as mycelium - the vegetative structure of fungi - are becoming more commonly available. It is a busy public passage in the day and an occasional children’s racetrack at night.
The street creates a living, hypnotic light source, an energy-generating landscape set against the larger foreign world of the Moon. There can be wonder in every step.
In this satellite, an otherworldly technological urban underpass is actually organic in its materiality, framing views towards an unearthly natural world.
III. The Chapel
A zero-gravity projection room that features a never-ending sunset, The Chapel unites the personal with the cosmic. Microgravity facilitates the magic of levitation, and impossibly thin columns recall the upward reach of Gothic architecture, pulling away and stretching vertically towards infinity.
The projection is a technologically-enabled illusion, uniting the visible with the psychological and spatial.
In an architecturalization of 'happy lights' that are used in deep winter, this self-contained microcosm makes reference to an external natural world without actually providing access to it. No longer seen from Earth, the sunset becomes foreign against projections of distant planets, an eternal golden hour that reaches for the sublime.
Satellite Town was exhibited at Civic Art Lab 2019: Closing the Loop + Inhabiting the Loop, a group exhibition and pop-up gallery focusing on the intersection of sustainability, design, and art in a circular economy. The 5th Annual Civic Art Lab was held on October 13-16, 2019, in New York City, and was organized by Greenspace NYC, a non-profit collaborative that develops and curates free educational programming, hands-on workshops, and public design projects that encourage dialogue, enliven public spaces, and promote the future of more equitable and sustainable cities.