Neri Oxman and her team at MIT’s Media Lab created these cool 3D printed wearables designed for interplanetary travels — space suits featuring synthetically engineered microorganisms that interact with each planet’s extreme conditions, allowing the traveller to obtain food, light, and oxygen (mildly NSFW.)
Oxman’s project is called Wanderers:
The medieval Arabs are known for their fascination with astronomy. They took a keen interest in the study of celestial bodies; motivated to better comprehend the divine creation, they also appreciated the knowledge of the constellations as guidance in their journeys. In honour of these early contributions to the science of astronomy the Wonderers in this collection are named in Arabic after their respective destination planets: Mushtari (a wearable for Jupiter), Zuhal (a wearable for Saturn), Otaared (a wearable for Mercury); and Qumar (a wearable for the Moon). The word “planet” comes from the Greek term planets meaning “wanderer”.
Qamar: Luna’s Wanderer
The wearables are designed to interact with a specific environment characteristic of their destination and generate sufficient quantities of biomass, water, air and light necessary for sustaining life: some photosynthesize converting daylight into energy, others bio-mineralize to strengthen and augment human bone, and some fluoresce to light the way in pitch darkness.
Zuhal: Saturn’s Wanderer
Each wearable is designed for a specific extreme environment where it transforms elements that are found in the atmosphere to one of the classical elements supporting life: oxygen for breathing, photons for seeing, biomass for eating, biofuels for moving, and calcium for building.
Otaared: Mercury’s Wanderer
Wanderers explores the possibility of voyaging to the worlds beyond by visiting the worlds within. 3D printed wearable capillaries designed for interplanetary pilgrims are infused with synthetically engineered microorganisms to make the hostile habitable and the deadly alive.
Mushtari: Jupiter’s Wanderer
This video shows how these growing structures are created:
Neri Oxman is an architect, designer, Sony Corporation Career Development Professor and Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the MIT Media Lab, where she founded and directs the Mediated Matter design research group.