Matt Jennings searched for a thesis topic that could keep him entertained for a whole year. Little did he envision that his entry into an international competition to design a city on Mars would land him among the top designers in the world with the opportunity to meet famed NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second person to walk on the Moon, and “The Martin” author Andy Weir. Matt, who joined American Structurepoint May 23 as an architectural graduate, entered his Ball State University thesis project into the Mars City Design Competition. The task was to design a sustainable city on Mars. His architectural design of a Mars research colony received ninth place overall and third place in the architectural category. Now, a Kickstarter funding campaign is attempting to raise $30,000 by July 12 that will pay for the top 10 finalists to attend a two-week workshop at USC in September. The finalists will collaborate with Aldrin, Weir, NASA scientists, and aerospace engineers to flesh out their designs.
So far, Matt has seen out-of-this-world results from his entry. Graphics of his design have appeared on the Fortune magazine website and on a popular blog written by space journalist Leonard David. Additionally, a $35 contribution to the Kickstarter campaign will land donors a T-shirt, bikini, or boxer shorts featuring one of Matt’s designs. Ball State University, his alma mater, generously has agreed to pay for his airfare to attend the workshop. Check out the Kickstarter campaign website at this link.