Innovation That Matters

Submitted for the International Ideas Competition held by the 2019 Kuala Lumpur Architecture Festival. | Photo source Abdul Warith Zaki and Amir Amzar

A proposal to build bamboo colonies on Mars

Architecture & Design

A concept colony design called “Seed of Life” consists of bamboo-woven structures grown and harvested on Mars

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Spotted: On Earth, Bamboo has been abundantly used to build homes and other buildings. Now, two Malaysian designers want to bring it to Mars.

A proposed colony design called “Seed of Life” consists of bamboo-woven structures grown and harvested on Mars. The designers, Warith Zaki and Amir Amzar, envision this working for several different reasons.

Firstly, bamboo would be convenient to transport from Earth, given its weight. Secondly, it can withstand extreme Martian weather. Mars’ richness in carbon dioxide could also allow bamboo to grow especially fast, speeding up the process of building colonies. 

A proposed plan would have each pod in the colony built over a six-year period. The first team would be sent to locate underground frozen ice to use as a source of water. Once a source of water source is found, a self-deploying fluorine-based plastic habitat with bamboo shoots will be sent to Mars. 

After the bamboo is fully grown, which would take around three years, autonomous robots would harvest the bamboo and weave it around the structure. Finally, liquid water would be pumped into the bamboo, which would freeze due to the Martian climate and create a second layer of protection. The colony could then be ready for its first residents.  


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