Designing a Park on Mars

 

SOL 300


Earth 2044

 Botanical Design on Earth, featuring genetically-modified plants on an office wall. Photo by FreshPaint.

Botanical Design on Earth, featuring genetically-modified plants on an office wall. Photo by FreshPaint.

Lap 3, Practice Heat 2. Braking Zone 1. Stella Marat felt the vintage Porsche Cayman GT4 pull a little to the right. She dispatches the pits—“coming in,  front brake pads need replaced.” 

Stella pulls into the pits and waits for the crew to slot in new carbon rotors. She finishes all six practice heats, fairly satisfied at the car’s performance for this week’s race. 

As Stella peels off her track suit, her assistant runs over to her.

“Stella, we got the contract. I was trying to reach you on the track, but you told me to not interrupt your sessions—"

With a smile, Stella “—looks like we are going to Mars.” She hugs her assistant and sends a congratulatory text to her design team.

“Looks like we are going to Mars.”
— Stella Marat, CEO of MARAT

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Stella Marat and her amateur racing team goes on to win the Porsche Club Classic at Laguna Seca raceway the following week. In between the practice sessions and the race, Marat finalized her plans with the Martian Infrastructure Commission to build several Botanical Design structures to be used in Martian parks and public spaces. 

Marat and her eponymous design firm are the pioneers of Botanical Design during the Floral Renaissance and helped create the ubiquitous genetically-modified live plants in homes and offices on Earth. MARAT has changed the urban interior, by artfully interposing genetically modified plants in daily living and working spaces. 

Verdure arrangements are linked with an improvement in mental health.

Among the seven Botanical Design firms that submitted proposals to the Martian Infrastructure Commission, MARAT’s design was selected to be featured on Mars.

This is not the first time MARAT was associated with the Red Planet. The firm designed the botanical arrangements on the Mars Shuttles, which gave passengers a physical memento of Earth’s flora on their interplanetary journey.

In addition to the aesthetic benefits, several scientific studies have shown that verdure arrangements are linked with an improvement in mental health. In fact, a simple bedroom grass accent wall had a measurable impact on general mood and productivity. All planned parks on Mars are still “indoor,”— subterranean or inside sealed dome structures—and as a result, it would allow MARAT’s team to design and create every wall and structure inside the park, since these habitats resemble a biological blank slate.

The virtual habits of Martian settlers also indicate a yearning for Earth’s flora and fauna. “Nature” virtual reality simulations are extremely popular on Mars, as these applications are usually the most popular simulations on the VR app marketplace. In fact, many Martians choose to meet their virtual friends in spaces that resemble the gravity and environment. The inclusion of Botanical Design into parks and public spaces on Mars would provide many settlers with a much-desired biological resemblance of what they left behind on Earth. 

Chief of the Martian Interior Commission, Dr. Arya Michaels highlights that “we believe the inclusion of live plants and Botanical Design, especially in our community spaces, will increase the quality of life of colonists.”

In addition to parks, MARAT will be tasked with designing botanical arrangements in other communal spaces, like gyms, cafeterias, and schools on Mars. Despite differences in atmosphere and other environmental factors between Earth and Mars, the chemistry of MARAT’s plants will be unchanged from the original designs on Earth, since Martian living quarters and domes are already built to simulate Earth’s atmospheric conditions.

“In addition to our public parks efforts, our goal is to provide our Martian customers the same kind of modular Botanical Designs that are available on Earth.”
— Stella Marat

MARAT recently met with several Martian aquaponic and hydroponic farmers to begin growing their genetically modified plants. Currently, Ponic Farming systems are fully utilized for the farming of human food. On Mars, MARAT’s patented bioengineered plants would require the farming systems to undergo some recalibration. 

Stella Marat’s team has made some recent innovations concerning modular Botanical Design on Earth through their collaboration with METRO, one of the Earth’s largest furniture retailers. “In addition to our public parks efforts, our goal is to provide our Martian customers the same kind of modular Botanical Designs that are available on Earth. With our METRO partnership, our firm is proud to make Botanical Design available for anyone on Earth who wants to easily implement live arrangements within their homes. We hope to achieve the same results on Mars.”—Stella Marat. METRO x MARAT and other modular live arrangements have become immensely popular over the last three years, as an estimated 28% of terrestrial homes at least one indoor Botanical Design product.

MARAT is planning to reveal Botanical Design plans for the Red Planet next month, at the International Botanical Design conference in Hamburg, Germany.

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Isabel has been a writer for The Martian Passage since 2040. She writes about architecture and interior design.