Learning how to live efficiently in space on earth….Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2, Finished in 1991, was intended to see how a closed system ecology could work as a means for living in space, on other planets, and even living more efficiently here on Earth. It is a large structure incorporating many of the biomes native to earth and specifically to create a system which could support a human population without the need for external food supplies. There were several missions conducted there to determine the feasibility of such a closed environment. Unfortunately, the first mission failed due to wildly fluctuating levels of carbon dioxide and as a result, many of the plants died. The second mission, while a success in terms of the science and sustainability for a period of time, was sabotaged by a disgruntled member of the team which led to external contamination of the air supply thereby voiding the validity of the mission. As of today, Biosphere 2 is managed by the University of Arizona and is used as a laboratory for climate change among a few other things.

Designing does not mean: “Make it pretty”

Designers across the globe must certainly groan in unison when somebody offers their thirteen-year-old-cousin up as the “designer” in the family; he has MS Paint after all!  Just give him a 2-liter of Pepsi and a pizza, and all of your “Design” needs are taken care of!  Or, if it’s not someone’s cousin, then at the very least it is some logo/graphic factory from across the seas willing to ship any generic image with some customized text.

This seems to be the onus of my Graphic Design brethren as of late.  Fortunately for Architecture, there are no programs (that I can think of) that generate an instant building foundations, frame, and all in the real world.