Recently John Youger, a professor at the Columbus College of Art & Design, asked me to come speak to his class about living on Mars. That's a bit of a challenge, since nobody lives on Mars and we have very little idea of how to go about it. But that was the point of his design class: if we were to show people in, say, a museum exhibit what a future colony on Mars would look like, what exactly would we show?
There are a few big challenges to living on Mars: there's almost no air (and the stuff you can inhale in pretty much pure CO2), all the water is almost entirely frozen, the dirt is laced with perchlorates, it's very cold, and the gravity is less than half the strength as on Earth. Oh, and it's really, really far away.
So it's a little bit challenging, but that's half the fun. The other half is imagining how to communicate these challenges to audiences, so for this semester John's class is teaming up with me and Erik Burdock, COSI's Director of Experience Design, to design a set of mock exhibits highlighting the difficulty - and adventure! - of living on Mars. Stay tuned!