Life on Mars takes a physical form with this hardcover print. Each chapter tells a story of why humans should, and will, become a multi-planetary species fueled by exploration and curiosity.

Exploration & Curiosity

A look back at human space-travel achievements.


What Mars looks like today, and the potential for life.


When we arrive on Mars, what will life look like? How will we survive?

Life Beyond Mars

Mars is not the end-game for space travel. What lies beyond Mars?


This project is based on hypothetical pragmatics.
We are not there yet, but we will be. In order to fully embrace the idea of life on Mars today, a bit of imagination is required.

Picture yourself 34 million miles away on board a shuttle of imagination, and you are the captain. Explore, and imagine life on Mars.


Life on Mars will eventually lead to humans going far beyond terrestrial planets, and ultimately leaving our own solar system. Each discovery and placement of life will be a blueprint for finding new worlds.

From a design perspective, this raises a question of how planets will identify themselves in a galactic way. What will be the mark of Earth? What about the mark of Mars?

Making Life on Mars

In order to have creative control of each visual that will be produced, I flew out to Death Valley, California. What I found were stunning landscapes that were seemingly as desolate as the shots we see from Curiosity on Mars.The texture of the rock and dusty surface was ideal for a mock visualization on Mars, only rivaled by some parts of Chile or volcanic rock in Hawaii. In short, Death Valley looks a lot like Mars.

Easily observed from the camera were spouts of vegetation that sprawled across the landscapes, and onto the mountains. Although they were subtle, this indication of life in the most severe of climates on Earth are clearly distinct from Mars. Most are a brush bush called Sagebrush, and can withstand climates of nearly 120°F like Death Valley. While most of these shots were used in some form, many were scrapped for less time-intensive photos.

After the photos were color-corrected in Lightroom, the building process of the structures began. Using Adobe Dimension, these photorealistic structures were brought to life by lightweight materials that could be transported, and built using 3D technologies while on Mars. The positioning of these pseudo-cities are pragmatic in design, and act as a blueprint for survival in hostile conditions. Once the renderings were designed in Adobe Dimension, they were brought into Photoshop and given a more realistic blending into their new Mars environment.

Ultimately, the project is about visualizing life on Mars. It was important that the mark did not take away from the visuals that were to be created. In fact, the mark was really just a name to put on the visuals, with a high stress on avoiding any cliché. As the mark is displayed, it is only used in a black or white setting overlaying images within a digital and physical medium. The mark itself was created using an ultralight sans-serif that can be easily read, but not obstructing the visuals for the project.

The idea of a planet using sustainable energy, and sustainable resources is inevitable, but human continuity and multi-planetary progression is not inevitable.

The reality is that our planet is finite, and we’re consuming our natural resources at a poisonous and unsustainable rate. However, the human race may be living a story that is threatened with an abrupt end, and we’re not the authors. Looking outward, we should begin the exploration of a sustainable, interplanetary network of human life. We should start on Mars. This may be a drastic shift in thought for some, and in order to get there, it is vital to move towards a sustainable, and efficient grid of human behavior.

Getting to Mars is a project in itself, and has its own set of challenges and potential setbacks. What will we do when we get there? How will humans survive and adapt? The current state of the planet is drawn from the exhaustive habits of humans over hundreds of years, and has exponentially increased in the post-industrial, consumption obsessed society we currently live in. Having faith that the term non renewable resources means that in time, they will inevitably shift to renewable resources, this project has no interest in starting to think of how to enact change by staying on Earth.

The reality is, we've had the technology to explore planets since the 1970s.

In 1977, NASA sent Voyager 1 to begin the exploration of life outside of our planet and Solar System. This was less than 10 years after we landed humans on the Moon. With this momentum, it wasn’t far-fetched to believe that by the 2000’s we’d have personal flying vehicles, an efficient energy grid, and equal living rights for all. The titled scales of basic human need in 2017 raise a tattered red flag for change on the current state of the planet, and a stain on the human story.

Moving forward, this research and subsequent design will act as a platform for a visualizing a sustainable, conscience society that can be implemented on our world and each new world to come.


Traveling out of the comfort of our current world will not be done out of leisure, and it will take an enormous amount of effort, and money. Any permanent exploration and colonization of foreign terrain would only make sense if done out of necessity, and it is important to fuse necessity with inspiration of making the human story something grand. There could be an option somewhere in between, though. A private-sector and mass funded research base to get humans to mars to excite and inspire humanity.

Hypothetically speaking, in a few million years, when the sun begins to swell, the Earth's place in the solar system will no longer be in the ideal "safe" zone (where the sun's radiation is nor too hot or cold) and due to this, the human story will be faced with a crossroads. Some may say "fix the issues on Earth first", and it would be easy to come to this as a response. I'm held to the belief that there will never be a better time to begin sending humans elsewhere than now. After all, we're already seeing the planet's climate change drastically since the time we sent Voyager into space. We’re seeing ocean waters rising caused by melting ice caps, stronger tropical storms, famine, earthquakes, and wars being waged for the control of our shrinking natural resources.

That being said, those issues should be, and will be addressed, too.

This is not a "doomsday plan".

We could continue our self-inflicted poisoning of our only home, or we change our behavior and expand our setting. These two options are mutually exclusive. Assuming e will go with the latter begs the question, “what would it take to build a new planet?” Answering that has to address the good news, and the bad. The good news is that we wouldn’t have to build one at all, not literally anyway. We would just have to transform one in order to make it habitable and be able to enjoy the comfort we take for granted on our current world. The bad news is that this transformation requires money, and a lot of it. Luckily, the money is there, if we’re willing to change the direction it’s being pushed.

Take the United States as an example. According to federal record, the United States spent 598 Billion dollars in 2016 on defense. This defense budget was spent strictly for protection from others on earth. Business Insider projects that with that kind of budget, NASA could deploy a manned mission to MARS next year in 2018 when partnered with SpaceX. To get the ball rolling, that would require participation throughout the rest of the world in order to get a country so invested in defense to put its weapons down. Imagine if this collective agenda to advance the human story beyond our own planet was the first priority.

The issue is not of greed, agenda, or even ignorance. We as a species are in our infancy, and this idea, though bold, is one that I believe in time, will be of upmost importance within the borders of division on Earth.

Learning from the past

From hunters and gatherers, the primitive living in caves and hunting with sticks and spears has developed into a crowded, over-populated world that is consuming more than our resources will allow to be sustainable.

As we have developed, we have become more knowledgeable about the world around us, and how to use its resources. Historically, through the use of war, we were able to gain control of the areas that were rich in these resources. The group of us with the most firepower, and latest technology would win these resources, and thus be able to do what we wanted with them.

Then came the Industrial Revolution, when after the dust had settled, and the world began to shape how we know it now, more or less, we moved from farms to cities, and consumption became king. Our habits became geared towards improving ourselves and the lives of those we loved, not thinking of the potential consequences of making gathering materials easier, and faster than ever before. We have the automobile that revolutionized the way we traveled to cities in 1885, and now we have realized the automobile is one of the biggest pollutants of c02 emissions, which is deteriorating the atmosphere necessary for us to breathe. This isn’t a fault of human behavior, but it is a learning moment that we can become smarter for having realized it.

The emissions being thrown into our atmosphere are causing the climate on Earth to change, and world leaders are being pushed by fossil fuel industries to deny the reality that human behavior is changing the composition of our atmosphere.

Moving Forward

We must learn from the reality of the human impact, and build upon our advances on Earth. This is not a ship jump. This is a shift in our behavior and mindset. Expanding our setting could have profound, extraordinary effects on how each of us live our lives.

What we take must be returned, and what is returned requires the ability to be reused. A design that keeps sustainability and pragmatism in mind is one that can be laid across the cosmos in order to foster a better plot for the human story.

Using our red neighbor, Mars, as a platform. This design is a pragmatic approach for what could be the first step in advancing our story outside of our solar system. The way it would seem is that there are three phases to this exploration and subsequent colonization.

Phase One is the current phase we are in today. This phase is one of discovery and decision making. Will we continue on the path of unsustainable behavior? Or will we make the necessary changes in order to further the human species further and fulfill our destiny to become an interplanetary species.

Phase Two is the planning, and execution of the journey to Mars. This has been documented as a pragmatic possibility made possible through SpaceX, NASA, and Lockheed Martin. The strategic plan is outlined, in succinct detail in CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk’s manifesto, Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species, which outlines the technology and planning required to making our exploration of Mars a possibility.

Phase Three is perhaps the biggest area of opportunity for design-thinking. Granted, the thinking required to make phase three, and colonization an ultimate success would have been done way ahead of phase 1. However, that is where this research-driven design will focus. How will life on this planet differ from that on Earth? What are our obstacles of creating a sustainable planet culture? Ultimately, the research-driven model could be used as a platform for human continuity.

Design will tell.