who we become on mars


It may seem odd to write about the future of utopias, classed in part as the realm of politicians currying public favour, and in part as the domain of overly-optimistic hippies. However, the focus of this examination is not surrounding the academia of such enterprises, but rather the internal machinations that clash and conflict to bring these architecturally and socially designed utopias crumbling down.

Why? Well, it is simple. Someday, humans will be living in entirely designed and constructed environments, and there will be some inciting factor; when the pressures of climate change weigh on us more and more until we cannot breathe, when President Trump starts a third and final World War, when we collectively abandon our homes and move into the vast beyond.

There will be a question then, a question vital to our survival as a species, a question that is better to start asking now rather than later; Who do we become on Mars?


Who We Become On Mars is a future-thinking analysis of how we can learn from previous designed and intentional communities so that we might learn to live better. The project was completed for a subject at UTS entitled 'Envisioning Futures', but it was originally sparked by a personal curiosity in Utopian cities, and how and why they end so catastrophically. These catastrophic endings seem inevitable, that perhaps Utopias simply cannot succeed; the puzzle here is understanding the complex path from birth to death of each of the nine case studies.


The final product included a protective case, a prototype case study card, an examination booklet containing the examination methods and analysis, and a 'Grow Your Own Utopia' booklet which explores the practicality of the project to be positioned in a further professional context.


I later adapted Who We Become On Mars into a half-hour lecture that I delivered to second-year students in the Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation at UTS. Although the premise of the project was originally to look at the role of accessibility and communication in regards to intentional living, the lecture that delivered was targeted at explaining macro and micro ecosystem and the disruption thereof. This project has also been partially adapted into an on-going comic series found here.