MOON ACADEMY  (April/August, 2010)



DSC_0407 astromoon telescope

The main goal of the Academy programme was to exchange knowledge and provide a new impetus and approach for development and innovation by art and culture professionals. The Moon Life Academy focused on professionals and master students as academies and universities. Every year the academy will focus on new themes. International scientists in the field of space technology and related disciplines, architects, designers, and publishers contribute to the programme.

Moon Academy No. 1 took place in association with the European Space Agency (ESA) from April to August 2010. The Moon Academy was open to young professionals and students of various disciplines, from architecture to sonology, and was hosted by ESA, Noordwijk, and SMART Project Space, Amsterdam. The Moon Academy functioned as a platform for ideas and exchange, and participants were asked for products or prototype proposals that could be implemented in the next phase of the project: Moon Life Product Development. Alicia Framis presented the project and concept to interested students at different institutions: KABK, HKU, Sandberg Instituut, ArtEZ, Instituut voor Sonologie, Academie van Bouwkunst, Luchtvaart- en Ruimtevaarttechniek TU Delft, VU Amsterdam and the Design Academy Eindhoven.

A selection of students who put forward the most interesting proposals was invited to participate in an extensive workshop held by an international, interdisciplinary group with lunar expertise. The workshops were developed in close collaboration with ESA, who also co-hosted the workshops. The lectures were given by various experts: Susmita Mohanty, Barbara Imhof, Andreas Vogler, Irene Lia Schlacht, Abigail Calzada, Rob La Frenais, David Raitt, Pierre Alexis Joumel and Bernard Foing.

Renowned artists, designers, and architects guided the participants during the workshops as they developed concepts for Moon Life. Crossover collaboration was much encouraged and mediation took place between participants and ESA, so that ideas could be developed and brought to a higher level.



Susmita Mohanty

Barbara Imhof

Abigail Calzada

Irene Lia Schlacht

Andreas Vogler

David Raitt

Rob La Frenais

Bernard H. Foing

Workshop tutors

Alicia Framis

Abigail Calzada

Irene Lia Schlacht

Marina Toeters

John Lonsdale

Tao G. Vhrovec Sambolec

Claire Todd

Bernard H. Foing


Speakers and tutors

Susmita Mohanty (could finally not attend unfortunately)

Barbara Imhof

Abigail Calzada

Irene Lia Schlacht

Andreas Vogler

David Raitt

Rob La Frenais (could not attend unfortunately)

Bernard H. Foing

Alicia Framis

Marina Toeters

John Lonsdale

Tao G. Vhroves Sambolec

Claire Todd


ZUS – Elma van Boxel

ZUS- Kristian Koreman

DUS – Hedwig Heinsman

DUS – Mahtab Akhavan

Edhv – Remco van de Craats



Sandra Gnjatovic

Katinka van Gorkum

Machteld Rullens

Marlot te Kiefte

Rutger Laumen

Iris Donker

Julia Berendsen


Academie van Bouwkunst Amsterdam

Arnoud Aarnoudse

Txell Blanco

Marit Janse

Hein van Lishout

Ramon Postma

Nina Scherer


Sandberg Instituut

Krimo Benlaloua


Master Interior Design en Public Space Design HKU- Wim Marseille

Krystel Comati

Chrysoula Korovesi

Jeanett Iversen

Saskia Visch

Sybren Stroo

I-Chung Chiu

Kolmonate Trisupatslip

Vithaloka Ayudia Dewi

Maria Teresa Carero

Alexandre Mertens

Anneke Abhelakh

Janneke Raaphorst

Brian d Mckenna

Haruka Uemura

Marie Burlot

Jimmy Paul van Rinsum

Paula Ampuero

Harald Schole

Maria Serret

Jefta Bade

Arjen Oosterman

Lilet Breddels

Celine Wouters

Noura Habbab

Thomas Peutz

Una Henry

Pim Komen

Jacques Blamont

Pierre-Alexis Joumel

Eline Feenstra




Research is the starting point of all Moon Life Foundation activities. Research is done into the physical, social, and technological conditions in space, urban planning, architecture, tourism, and politics aspects of life beyond Earth. We investigate such questions as: What will be the primary mode of communication – or lack of communication? Who will be the lucky ones to live out there? How will space tourism influence the conscience of not having defined borders on Earth? What would an Earth Passport to travel into space look like? What will the lunar money be? What will be the impact of human beings viewing earth as a distant planet? Are earthly borders an invention of fear?

Democratization of space

Space research is usually directed by governmental/military interests, hence some inventions have an almost hostile appearance to them. Take the development of a ‘National Missile Defense System,’ the space race (which nation will be the first to reach the Moon, or Mars…) as one in a long list of examples.

Moon Life proposed that 40 years after the first human being set foot on the moon, it is now a time for a more democratic, peaceful, artistic and cultural investigation of space. Recent financial cutbacks have forced governmental agencies like NASA to collaborate with amateur researches, private parties, and commercial space companies. This is a cautious start to a democratization process that Moon Life wants to take further. Artists, designers, and architects are encouraged to think radically about concepts for habitat design for moon life, creating a platform for the public to engage with such notions, and to discuss the ‘public-ness’ of the possibility of living on the moon.

Redefinition of design culture

The extraterrestrial context, with its extreme conditions, restrictions, and opportunities, forces us to abandon familiar points of departure in the design process. This process can lead to innovative and functional tools for our earthly existence; a point that has already been proved by the aerospace industry (Velcro, microwave, Internet, laptop, MP3 player, airbags, etc.). With the interdisciplinary character of the project (science, technology, art and design) in a futuristic context, Moon Life aims to initiate new developments in design culture. Is it possible to create a future-oriented, innovative impulse in the same way that Constant’s New Babylon did in his time?