London – Central Saint Martins graduate Margaux Hendriksen examines the economic and ethical implications of harnessing resources from space.
In her Scramble for the Moon project, the designer questions humanity’s political and economic relationship with extraterrestrial planets, and exposes the lack of regulations in the burgeoning space mining industry. Hendriksen draws attention to the abundance of resources such as helium-3 – a rare element that could theoretically be used as fuel in future nuclear fusion plants – oxygen-enriched air, fresh water and light in space. ‘A lot of private companies are investing money in this new industry, and all of this is happening without any kind of international agreement,’ she says. ‘What will be the outcome of this new economy without any laws and regulations?’
The project explores the potential for these precious extraterrestrial materials to become future luxury goods and charts the history of Moon Origin, a fictional private company that over-extracts the Earth’s moon’s natural resources in its effort to meet market demands.