Less Earth More Mars

Exploring the Expansion of Earth onto Mars

Andreea Elena Adam
MArch II 2023
Georgy Karpenko
MArch II 2023
Robert Nilsen
MDes ULE 2023
1 Assortment of morphed meshes of both Mars and Earth terrain.

Where to, after Earth? Technological advancement has enabled the possibility for the expansion of human civilization’s footprint beyond our planet: Onward to Mars. If private companies and public agencies like NASA pursue the colonization of Mars and thereby disregard the potential ethical and political issues, what would predicate the expansion by design? Our project, Less Earth More Mars, attempts to render and imagine a reality where Mars becomes designed in the logic of earthly urbanization and “terraformed”. In Mars’ newfound glory and focus, Earth's growth subsequently halts and morphs to the image of Mars.

Inspired by the 1977 video, Powers of 10, we ventured with Grasshopper to play with scale in a 2.5d environment and explore how to use changing geometry and its implicit depth as a means of reciprocating the perception of changing scale without manipulating the position of the camera. Using Google Earth to create a video that zooms from Earth to Mars at approximately the same world coordinates, Earth’s urban density and topography per frame are used as a displacement map to render Mars with the same geometric logics of Earth civilization.

Project video
2 Animation of isometric and plan views of Earth and Mars transformations.
3 Animation of displacement mapping as translated from Google Earth tracking video.