The Next Giant Leap: A Moon Village

What will the first lunar settlement look like? Architects, scientists, and engineers are finding out.

Eugene Cernan captured Jack Schmitt running to the Rover at Station 5 during Apollo 17, NASA’s final Moon mission, in 1972. Photo © NASA
Photos © NASA
Projects like AMIE 1.0, a collaboration between SOM and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, show the potential of innovative research partnerships. Rendering © SOM

“Past missions to the Moon took place in the context of a space race and in a spirit of competition. Missions in the future will instead be driven by cooperation and sustainability.”

James Irwin during the Apollo 15 mission, in 1971. Photo © NASA
Data provided by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft gives new insight into the geologic features of the Moon’s interior. Video © NASA Goddard
Columbus, a science laboratory that is part of the International Space Station (ISS), is the largest single contribution to the ISS made by the European Space Agency (ESA). Photo © Daniel Inocente | SOM
Using geometry as a driving force in design can produce innovative results—especially in an interdisciplinary project. These images are the work of Haresh Lalvani, a designer who uses concepts of biology, mathematics, computer science, and art to generate new forms.

“On the Moon, everything has to be zero. One hundred percent closed-loop.”

Mid-1960s illustrations by artist Andrei Sokolov envision life on outer planets.
The ESA team created this early design concept for a lunar landing stage. Image © ESA



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store

We are a collective of architects, designers, engineers, and planners building a better future. To learn more, visit