A Story of COASTAL MUTANTS, URBAN PARASITES, AND ALPINE HYBRIDS
This studio consisted of a single overarching story created by three individual projects. Each group created a “persona” for their story, but these projects were not designed for our persona as a “client”. Rather, all three projects construct a journey for this character to progress through. Our story ended up not as literal progression like others had designed, but rather formed through our character’s memories or imagination. Instead of interacting with each project one at a time, our persona sits in a rocket awaiting the start of a years-long mission. All three projects find themselves in Saul’s reminiscing and wonderment.
Saul Rosso, a fictional astronaut from a soon-future dystopian society, was chosen by NASA to lead its first mission to Mars. This Mars mission, in pursuit of studying the red planet’s past climate, is hopeful to improve the current climate conditions on Earth. During the countdown of this historic launch, Saul is reminded of his life on Earth.
> Sitting terrified and motionless on the launchpad, Saul keeps experiencing flashbacks of his past, reflecting on moments in his life. These memories of his childhood and education remind him why he is there; they compel him to focus on the launch ahead of him, as these moments previously pushed him earlier in life.
A Coastal Mutant
> Strapped into the warm seat of the rocket cabin, Saul remembers a long ago childhood on the coast, his home and community. He remembers the warm water of the beaches before the pollution and climate ruined his city. There was a large research laboratory which he visited often while exploring the jetty as a child. This lab was a beacon of hope, one of the only lights he could see through the devastating hurricanes that formed yearly, each one worse than the prior. Despite trying to resolve climate issues, this facility was one of the first abandoned as climate worsened and waters rose to unsafe levels. His hometown would eventually be deserted, as humanity flees inland from the polluted, unsafe, and unpredictable coastlines.
This building is a reminder of the direct effects of the climate change to Saul, from the rising oceans to the annually worsening weather events. This facility and Saul’s childhood town were the first things taken from him, a pivotal moment in his search for answers and resolutions to the global dilemma our planet faces.
> This flashback brings Saul back to reality as he listens to the countdown sequence progress. This destroyed lab was the first in a snowball of events which started as a child and ended with him on the rocket in that moment- an astronaut ready for humanity’s last attempt to fix the future of our planet.
An Urban Parasite
This NASA gallery is a hub of knowledge and education for the people of Dallas. An “urban parasite” of the city, it ties a rooftop garden across the alleyway to the upper levels and roof of the NASA exhibition hall. The project is designed to look grown in place, to be an actual parasite within the urban fabric.
Worldwide, cities are heavily overcrowded as refugees flee unsafe coasts. Pollution and illness are rampant as regulations become lax from economic greed and corrupt politics. Similar to the coastal research lab, Saul found himself spending most of his time here, one of the few green spots left in the city. He toured the exhibition halls daily, learning the name of all equipment and projects displayed. It was no surprise when he began studying in his pursuit of a new dream; to research for NASA, to fix the planet he has watched fall apart.
> The rocket is calm and cold. Saul sits still as he holds back emotions, reflecting over the thousands of things which must go flawlessly for the mission success and his own safety. He remembers his younger self in the NASA exhibition hall; he remembers what it was once like to be relaxed...
An Alpine Hybrid
The past reminds Saul why he is there and what he is researching. This past compels him out of fear of what could be, but he is also driven by his thoughts of the future. Once he launches, it will be years before he is back home. Regardless, Saul is hopeful of what will be then. He imagines a place- a laboratory to continue his research, a gathering space for the science community, and an assembly hall for the distribution of this scientific knowledge.
This building is a manifestation of hope for the future, imagining one where steps have been made to stabilize the issues he was sent to research. A simple design set away from human sprawl, Saul imagines the most important aspect; the procession entrance and assembly hall itself, set into the hillside with a single cut through the ceiling to connect this auditorium outward. This slot provides views of the exterior sky, but also shines out a sliver of light when dark, mimicking the research laboratory’s beam and referencing the NASA museum distributing knowledge outward.
> As the countdown reaches “liftoff”, Saul is still imagining the future. He feels the rocket lurching from under him, and he prepares for the long flight ahead, all while daydreaming of this mountainous scientific gathering place. He hopes for not only this building itself, but that this building is set in a better future- one with a settled climate which he hopes his mission can bring about.
This studio project was made in collaboration with classmate Nate Wade. Design and story were done collectively during this studio, but all drawings and renderings above were independently reproduced.