LUNAR CULTURAL CENTER
1st Place, Lunar Crater Cultural Center Competition
Moon Seed is a speculative proposal that attempts to situate a Lunar Crater Cultural Center along a continuous timeline of human space development. This Lunar development is not the beginning, nor the final goal of humanity’s presence on the moon; it is merely a point-in-time of a perpetual, phased-project to expand human presence extra-terrestrially.
The challenge of creating a cultural center on the moon is that it cannot exist independently, but rather it must co-exist with other programs already in place that can initiate and sustain inhabitation. Given the increase of privatized space ventures at the beginning of the 21st century, the proposed Lunar settlement would likely be a cooperation between government, scientific, and commercial enterprises. This proposal envisions that a permanent settlement on the moon is a byproduct of a joint venture between three agendas: resource extraction, scientific research and exploration, and lastly, inhabitation and the associated leisure and recreation. There also exists a larger, collective dream to transform the moon’s surface into an Earth-like environment, with a breathable atmosphere capable of sustaining life.
A GENERATIVE, PHASED INFRASTRUCTURE
The proposal imagines the deployment of a large scale pod [MOON SEED] into the center of the crater site, a sort of infrastructural seed that contains everything that is needed to propogate a permanent lunar settlement. To achieve that end, SEED creates self sustaining energy with an integrated nuclear fusion reactor that runs on helium-3, an element more plentiful on the moon. The mining of raw lunar materials, along with the slow canibalization of SEED’s internal megastructure and shell, provide the required material resources for the production and further build up of the programmatic space – initially within the existing envelop of the shell, and eventually to independent lunar settlements along the perimeter of the crater.
The final task of the SEED reactor is to gradually terraform the moon with its surplus energy generation. Over the course of 100 years, the deployment of hundreds of SEEDs will eventually create shallow lakes in the craters, and a thin but breathable atmosphere across the surface of the moon.
As the lunar settlement grows outward and the terraforming reaches a critical momentum, SEED gradually evolves from a critical piece of infrastructure to a monument and relic of its former function. SEED’s final form is also a process of the slow erosion of its initial closed shell, through the self-consumption of its own structure and shell over time. It is through these transformations in both form and function that an object of culture begins to manifest. Rather than predetermining a particular cultural program within the project, the notion of culture becomes a temporal phenomenon, a resultant of all that has come to pass.