Future living w/ the Mars Hotel

The World Systemic Forum, held, on January 14th, 2023, saw a cluster of change makers, innovators and futurists gather to ideate on future realities.

As an extension of the Space exploration experience, Meng Li and Ralph Horat presented the Mars Hotel, a Future Living Lab / The Subterranean Retreat and pilot project between THE HUS.institute, The Next Generation Village, Mission Earth First and design studio, Pararaum. 

With A Guest Experience From The UNDP’s Frankie The Dino, we play on the symbolism of Returning Back To one’s ‘Cave Roots’.  As Frankie the Dino shares, #dontChooseExtinction.

We chat to Meng and Ralph on what the Mars Hotel is all about:

“Climate change, carbon footprint, land scarcity: we urgently need to rethink our relationship to the earth! Creating an immersive space that is “ancient yet futuristic”, the prototype of Mars Hotel explores the hidden potential of subterranean spaces, creating alternative approaches towards the future of living.”

Visions on Sustainable Living: 

“As the world’s population continues to grow and resources become increasingly scarce, it is becoming increasingly important to explore alternative living spaces. One such possibility is the use of underground space for human habitation. By making creative re-use of often neglected spaces, we reduce the impact of human activity on the surface of the earth. As we look to the future, it will be vital to reimagine the spaces underneath us and to find new and innovative ways to live sustainably on this planet.”

Art and Technology: 

“One of the key elements of the project is to incorporate cutting-edge technology in design. We use 3D scanning technology to capture the underground mining sites in Switzerland. We then use the images from these scans to train AI models, which in turn, aid us in creating physical art pieces for the underground living spaces. Such iteration allows us to not only gain a better understanding of the existing underground spaces, but also to test the potential and limitation of novel technology in the process of artistic creation.”

Connectedness to Earth: 

“This project is not only about creating functional spaces, but also about fostering empathy towards our earth and to raise awareness on our extractive mode of production. Using thin layers of natural latex, we transfer the rugged texture of the mining caves to the art pieces, thus, the physical materiality can connect us to the memory of the mountain without further depleting it. To create a sensual experience of the subterranean world, we hope to make the voids of earth visible, and thus, to inspire alternative perceptions of earth – no long as resources! We believe this is one important step towards sustainable future.

Mars Hotel is a pilot project of the HUS Institute, the Next Generation Village and Mission Earth First, in collaboration with design studio Pararaum.”

Ideas and hopes for the Future:

Ralph: “I was highly inspired by the deep & insightful conversations in a magical underground cave environment. I hope to see a transition in our society from linear problem – solution thinking to system thinking. Switzerland as a highly risk-averse country needs living labs & special innovation zones, where we can prototype groundbreaking infrastructural, technological & socio-economic innovations on a systemic level.”

Meng: “Everything, everywhere, all connected. By creatively bridging conversations across disciplines, the WSF has created such an intense and immersive experience of how the future world could be in a day! This intensity has generated a great momentum and I am optimistic that the systemic thinking will transfer to systemic actions – I hope to see our innovative ideas being realised, creating impacts that can be felt. “

Find out more: Studio Pararaum