The Planetary Society
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Hal Box  –  architect
Click for larger image " One person cannot build a building – it takes a team – and the team adds a lot of excitement, often inspiration setting fire to ideas. "
How were you motivated to choose your particular field?
  I liked to make things. Architecture was the most exciting thing to do because architecture offered me a world of things to think about and design. I thought so at age 15 and I think so at age 70. I could visualize things and make them happen -- everything from new towns and skyscrapers to chairs and doorknobs. Being an architect let me design things and draw pictures showing how to build them.   Click for larger image
What can you share about your creative process?
    First, I focus on the subject to search my own mind for any intuitive ideas. I make sketches of these ideas but don't give them credibility yet.

Then, I immerse myself in information from libraries, web pages, experts, ordinary people, and travel to learn about the subject. I need to know what others have done in different cultures, different times, and the latest ideas. I want the benefit of our collective unconscious, our experience.

Then, with a clear mind (left brain full of information, right brain cleared for creative action), I get close to the subject and begin to visualize the physical and social realities. Sketching what I visualize, I look at the sketches to assess the ideas, ask others what they think and how they might collaborate. One person cannot build a building -- it takes a team-and the team adds a lot of excitement, often inspiration setting fire to ideas.

Ideas must be tested. Is it beautiful? Is it appropriate socially, aesthetically, and financially? Does it satisfy the ancient architectural test of providing "commodity, firmness, and delight"? Will it have enduring value?

After everybody has decided what's to be done, the realization of the project begins--the remaining 85%. The execution involves detailed design, description of the desired construction, finding the contractors, and constructing the physical.

What ideas do you have for a future human community on Mars?
  Visualize a complex of communal spaces created in a small crater enclosed by dome structures making a place for human survival -- and more, a humane place for a community to flourish in the arts and sciences at an appropriate level of physical, psychological, and spiritual comfort.

Most building materials will be primitive as were the early buildings on Earth. The great need is for invention of building systems which can be accomplished with materials available on Mars.

Socially, this communal place functionally designed for survival and productivity, must be aesthetically designed for human life beyond survival. More than a high tech factory-like setting, this must offer a place where a new civilization might be founded-forums, markets, and settings for sports and the arts.

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