SAGA Space Architects SAGA Space Architects

20 Sensations

After our Wadi Rum expedition, we created this speculative list of 20 physical and mental sensations that we imagine will be felt by the first settlers on Mars. It is based on our own experiences in the desert, personal accounts from astronauts on the ISS and on simulated Mars missions, as well as how the human body might react to the characteristics on Mars.

In order to move past the quantitative understanding of these sensations, we paired them with cultural associations in the hopes of reaching a deeper and more empathetic appreciation of the physical and emotional considerations necessary when designing the isolated homes for future space travelers.

Astronaut sitting in the cramped cockpit of a spaceship.


Combined stress and social factors.

A nurse tending to a man who is laying in a iron lung machine which is a 
        mechanical respirator which enables a person to breathe on his or her own in a normal manner


Decreased gravity, 1/3 that of earth's.

A cliff by the ocean shore.


Biophilia is not satisfied.

Photograph of a tribal family standing in front of a tent with two dogs.


Tribe like community.

A small modest desolate church in a snowy landscape.


Mars is on average 20 light minutes away. Sometimes behind the sun, causing a communication black-out.

Man sitting alone leaned against a abandoned bus.


Earth out of view phenomenon.

An incubation chamber with an infant laying inside.


Complete reliance on constant life support.

Photograph of the insode of a spaceship's cockpit.


Combination of environmental and social factors.

Photograph of many people assembling the wooden frame of a building.


Indispensability of skill and responsibility.

Child in a protective suit to block the surrounding environmental effects due to
         a immunodeficiency


Decreased exposure to bacteria and virus as well as radiation exposure.

A table with pancakes and other delicate foods.


Lack of meal variation and other sensory pleasures.

A wall of stacked wodden blocks, with some sticking out.


Decreased gravity, 1/3 that of earth's.

A long plain hallway.


Lack of space, colour, texture, nature and culture.

A man sitting alone on a bed, which is crammed into a small room with screens on 
        all walls showing a cartoonish background of a farm to create a poor illusion of the surrounding environment.


Lack of newness and stimuli.

An abstract image shown in a 4 by 4 grid with various color filters.


Mars' day/night cycle is 40 minutes longer than on earth. Exposure to artificial light.

A futuristic structure of platforms and beams.


Decreased gravity, 1/3 that of earth's.

A person lying in a strap suit in a room covered with soft pillow-like material


Decreased physical and mental health.

Prisoners working out in a crude outdoor gym.


Lack of external stimuli.

A photograph of a series of homey houses by a canal with a calm atmosphere.


Controlled small colony leaves no room for sporadic emergent culture.

A person lying in bed with headphones on, burying their face in the blanket.


Combination of environmental and social factors on Mars.