New York, NY - SEArch (Space Exploration Architecture) and Clouds AO (Clouds Architecture Office), an architecture and space research collective, are the winners of NASA and America Makes sponsored competition 3D Printed Habitat Challenge for Mars. Their proposal, ICE HOUSE, was awarded the top prize of $25,000 at the New York Makers Faire at the New York Hall of Science on September 26th and 27th, 2015 where the challenge’s design segment culminated in the presentation of a 3D printed scaled model of their proposal.

The SEArch / Clouds AO team, with ties to Pratt Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, Princeton University, and Parsons School of Design, is comprised of award-winning designers Christina Ciardullo, Kelsey Lents, Jeffrey Montes, Michael Morris and Melodie Yashar of SEArch, and Ostap Rudakevych, Masayuki Sono, and Yuko Sono of Clouds AO. Consulting on the project are fifteen leading space-related subject matter experts (SME’s) comprised of scientists, astrophysicists, geophysicists, ice experts, structural engineers, roboticists and 3D printing engineers.

SEArch’s collaboration builds upon a ten-year portfolio combining teaching and practice through academic space projects and research at Columbia University and Pratt Institute in association with the Human Factors division at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC). SEArch’s collective work has made multiple presentations to international space and architectural symposiums and design programs Including: NASA’s JSC Constellation Program (Ciardullo, Lents), participation on the 2015 Caltech Challenge winning design (Montes), and the 2016 X-HAB Innovation Challenge award for Human Centered: Designs for a Mars Transit Habitat at Pratt Institute (Morris), which evolved from his 2014 participation as an SME in the Net Habitable Volume Consensus Session for a Mars transit habitat for NASA in 2014.

Clouds AO has produced a number of built and speculative projects distilled from research and analysis that explores the intersection between conceptual and experiential approaches to the built environment. Their work includes the publication of 'Third Sphere,' an article describing a suspended city based on the principle of the space elevator (Kerb Journal, 2012) and 'Comet Runner' which envisioned harnessing a comet for interplanetary exploration (Dezeen, 2015). In 2014, they were nominated for the Iakov Chernikhov Prize, and in 2015 Clouds AO received the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter Honor Award.

Project Team

Christina Ciardullo; SEArch

Kelsey Lents; SEArch

Jeffrey Montes; SEArch

Michael Morris; SEArch

Melodie Yashar; SEArch

Ostap Rudakevych; CloudsAO

Masayuki Sono; CloudsAO

Yuko Sono; CloudsAO

Research Consultants

Jared W. G. Atkinson; Planetary Geophysics, MIT

Maria Banks PhD; Geology and Planetary Scientist, Planetary Sciences Institute

Kim Binstead PhD; Associate Professor, ICS Depatment, University of Hawaii

Eric Barnett PhD; Research Associate, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Laval University

Casey J. Handmer PhD; Applied Mathematics, California Institute of Technology

Stefan Harsan Farr; Engineer and Software Architect

Jeffrey H. Hoffman PhD; Professor of Practice of Aerospace Engineery, MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Norbert Koemle PhD; Geophysics, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Space Research Institute

L.E.R.A. Consulting Engineers

Petr Novikov; Co-Founder of Asmbld Construction Robotics 

Yaz Khoury, Electrical Engineer at Asmbld Construction Robotics

Javier Roa; Orbital Mechanics/Aerospace Engineering, Technical University of Madrid and JPL Research Associate

Pavlo Rudakevych; Roboticist and Aerospace Engineer, Aviator

Markus Scheucher; Physics and Space Sciences, Karl Franzens University of Graz

Pieter Sijpkes, Associate Professor (ret.), School of Architecture, McGill University

Special Thanks to:

Dr. Ron Turner,  ANSER Distinguished Analyst

Lawrence W. Townsend PhD,  Chancellor's Professor of Nuclear Engineering, University of Tennessee


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