Information for Participants

Welcome to the Australian Space Architecture Challenge (ASAC).

We encourage you to join our Discord Community where you can connect with fellow participants, build teams, share ideas, and collaborate in various ways. Think of it as your virtual mission control for the competition.

Design brief

It is the year 2069. 

It’s been exactly 100 years since humans first set foot on the surface of the Moon. We have now maintained a presence on the Moon for over three decades and it is an integral part of our future planned exploration of the solar system under the ‘Moon to Mars’ initiative. The lunar outpost serves as both a scientific experimental facility and as the base of strategic mining operations to extract resources and refuel our crewed missions to Mars. Together with the lunar gateway station on the Moon’s orbit, it forms the basis of an emerging lunar economy that supports long term human presence in deep space. 

Imagine a human habitat on the Moon that caters to a community of up to 30 people, showcasing the innovative and sustainable evolution of lunar living, and the preparation for the upcoming Mars expeditions. 

This competition is not just limited to architects; it is a call to all those who dream about human presence in deep space to imagine the future of human habitation. Dive into the realm of pop culture for a whimsical twist. Reimagine Tintin’s journey from ‘Explorers on the Moon’ or Roy McBride’s arrival at the moon base in Ad Astra. Embrace the deserted landscape of Tatooine in Star Wars or Arrakis in Dune. Or envision a future where technological innovations have paved the way for a more sustainable approach to human living. You are encouraged to play at the boundaries of reality and imagination, and contribute your vision to establishing a sustainable human presence on the Moon. 


Shackleton - De Gerlache Ridge. 

The connecting ridge between Shackleton and De Gerlache craters has been identified as a promising site for the Artemis mission. It is roughly 12 kilometres long and has been indicated in the figure below. It is thought to have proximity to areas of high geological value with potential for entrapped volatile collection. Due to its low slope, it suits lander stability requirements and human traversal. It also has a high availability of sunlight for thermal control and power generation and many sites along the ridge offer a frequent line of site to Earth. 

Your design proposals should be located on a site of your choosing along this ridge. 

Shackleton - De Gerlache Ridge. 


Jury members

The entries will be assessed by a panel of experts including architects, engineers, psychologists, and artists associated with the Andy Thomas Centre for Space Resources (ATCSR).  

  • Deliverables

    Participants are required to submit a single poster that comprehensively explains their design concepts.

    The poster should be clear, aesthetically pleasing, and effectively convey the innovations and inventiveness of the proposal through a range to graphic and textual material.

    This could include a short description of the main concepts, broader narratives or explanatory diagrams, overall site response, plans, sections, elevations, and 3D views or renderings to explain the project.

    The poster needs to be submitted digitally as a single PDF file corresponding to the following requirements:

    • Dimension : A0 (841mm x 1189mm)
    • Orientation : Portrait / Vertical 
    • File Format : PDF
    • Resolution : 300 dpi
    • File Size : 75 MB (Max.)

    See ‘How to Submit’ for more details on naming convention and submission link. 

  • How to submit

    Please note that the deadline for submissions is 31 August. We will be providing information on the file naming convention and the submission link here at a later date. Please come back later for more information. 

  • Judging criteria

    Considering the multidisciplinary nature of Space Architecture, the competition entries could focus on a wide variety of issues, ranging from technical and logistical challenges of building a habitat on the Moon, to the psychological and social aspects that will shape the human experience of living in such a habitat.

    The participants are free to define the focus of their design proposal and convince the jury of the significance and value of such an approach. The jury will take this focus into account and assess the proposal across the following four areas of consideration in no particular order of preference. 

    • Design Innovation and Creativity 
    • Technical Feasibility and Sustainability 
    • Human Factors and Experience 
    • Communication and Presentation 

    We encourage participants to look through the ‘Notes and Suggestions’ section to get further insight into how to approach some of these topics. However, please note that this is an ideas competition, and the participants are not restricted by these suggestions in exploring their imagination. 

  • Notes and suggestions

    Originality and inventive thinking are paramount. We’re looking for submissions that break new ground and showcase your unique approach to lunar architecture. Your design should not only capture the imagination but also reflect a thoughtful reinterpretation of traditional concepts in a way that could only apply to lunar conditions. Stand out by pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on the Moon.

    The clarity and effectiveness of your presentation are also important. Your submission should articulate the principles, functionality, and innovative aspects of your design in a visually engaging manner. High-quality diagrams, detailed descriptions, and compelling visuals will play a key role in conveying your vision. Entries must be not only be informative but also aesthetically pleasing, making complex ideas accessible and appealing to the judges and the broader audience.

    Suggestions around Technical Feasibility and Sustainability: 

    Consider demonstrating practical applicability and sustainability. This involves integrating your habitat seamlessly with existing space travel technologies, such as launch vehicles and landing systems. It could also mean a well-considered design that promotes In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), leverages AI technologies and robotics, and employs advanced materials to create structures that are both sustainable and in harmony with the lunar environment. A strong entry may detail effective life support systems and innovative energy solutions that ensure the safety and well-being of the inhabitants under the harsh conditions of space. 

    Suggestions around Human Factors and Experience:

    Consider exploring the human element of your design. It can include detailing how aspects of the habitat such as the layout or in-built furniture or specialist exercise equipment support human activity and well-being in the reduced gravity of the Moon. You can consider the psychological needs for privacy, social interaction, and connection to Earth, enhancing the mental health and morale of inhabitants. Entries can also address how the habitat’s design supports natural sleep cycles and provides robust safety and emergency frameworks. Strong entries will not just facilitate survival but help develop thriving communal and individual life. 

  • Special conditions

    Here are a few important considerations to take into account. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any queries or concerns.

    • Participants may only be a part of a single submission. 
    • Participants must ensure the originality of their submitted works. 
    • Works published elsewhere as papers or patents are not allowed.
    • Works submitted to other competitions are not allowed.
    • AI generated graphics and/or design as final submission are not allowed.
  • Useful resources

  • Frequently asked questions

    Q1. The link to the Discord server appears not to be functioning. What can we do about it?
    A. Previous links were set to expire. Here is a link which will not expire. Please use this to join the discord server.

    Q2. I would like to be part of a team but I am not in Australia and/or do not know where to find teammates. What can I do?
    A. The Discord Server is your best option. Please use it to reach out to fellow participants and form teams. It is also a valuable platform for sharing resources and other information. Join our Discord community.

    Q3. Are the prizes per team or per person?
    A. The prizes mentioned are per team. The prizes will be offered to the team lead and it is their responsibility to manage its distribution. 

    Q4. If the work is selected for display at IAC Milan, will the winners be supported for travel to Milan?
    A. No, only the winning posters will be displayed at IAC Milan. There is no expectation or requirement for the winners to visit the IAC at Milan. If winners decide to attend the event, the travel costs will not be organised by ASAC. 

    Q5. What is the site for the design challenge? 
    A. The site is on the Shackleton de-Gerlache ridge near the South Pole of the Moon. For a more detailed description, please check out the Information for Participants page. Please also check out the common resources shared on the Discord Server.

    Q6. Is this challenge meant to be purely conceptual or should the design be more detail oriented like providing energy solutions etc.?
    A. This is an ideas challenge so the prime aim should be to share your unique approach to lunar architecture. But this might also include specific details on technical feasibility and operations. So your design should not only capture the imagination, but also provide a thoughtful reinterpretation of traditional concepts as relevant to the lunar context. We encourage a systems design approach. 

    Q7. Do we need to consider the material choices for the design?
    A. Although not a requirement, you are encouraged to consider material choices. Please read the Notes and Suggestions section for further details, and explore current research on In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) for Lunar Construction.

    Q8. Where can we submit the final submission documents?
    A. Detailed information on submission requirements is available from the Information for Participants page. Certain details about file naming conventions and the upload link will be provided closer to the submission date in August. Please look out for future communications.

2024 key dates

10 May 2024 Registration opens
15 June 2024 Information webinar + QA
30 June 2024 Registration closes
31 August 2024 Submission deadline
15 September 2024 Winners announced
14 - 20 October 2024 Exhibition at IAC Milan