UAE students to learn how to design habitats on Mars


UAE students to learn how to design habitats on Mars

The three-day workshop is being held in Dubai.

By Sarwat Nasir

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Published: Tue 10 Jul 2018, 4:21 PM

Last updated: Wed 11 Jul 2018, 2:03 AM

Planet Earth may have tall buildings, architectural wonders and luxury homes, but, Mars is the new and upcoming place designers and architects are setting their eyes on.
A workshop on how to develop concepts of habitation on Mars is being held in Dubai for the first time and is open for pre-college students to attend for free.
The Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI) is holding the three-day workshop to highlight the importance of the need for design in the aerospace industry.
Industrial aerospace designer, researcher and DIDI faculty member Dr Raffi Tchakerian will be leading the workshops on July 17, 18 and 19 at the institute's campus.
He spoke to Khaleej Times ahead of the workshop on the growing need for designers in the aerospace industry.
"Until now, design has been foreign to the field of aerospace and it was mainly handled by government aerospace engineers and experts. It's just today that we have started to realise the value and importance of design in the field of aerospace. This is because you have a lot of Silicon Valley mentality people coming on board and creating their own private companies to launch and land rockets and even send humans to Mars. Now, the reason design becomes important in this field is that noble people will start gaining access into space," he said.
"We are doing the first workshops for pre-college students where we will explore different ways to build and live on Mars. They will be introduced to the role of design in space and that's been my research. When I took this research as a proposal for my PhD, it was initially declined because they said this was purely science fiction. They said you need engineers to design in space and I had to bring in astronauts into it to explain to them that this is really happening and that its's reality. We need to be doing this as designers."
He said designers have to be creative because humans will not be able to take all of the building materials from Earth to Mars. He said people will have to find new ways to use resources they find on Mars and transform them into livable habitats for humans.
"Another reason why design is fundamental is that when you start trapping people in closed environments for long periods of time, whether that's in a spaceship or a habitat, it becomes a problem as they can't really exit the spaceship freely and take a walk, they will have this routine that they will repeat every day. You will have problems like monotony and boredom. So, designers need to have the necessary creativity to find new ways of tackling boredom, like games, virtual reality, interfaces and 3D printing," he said.
Seats for the workshop are limited and can be reserved by emailing

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