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To the Moon! It’s NELMA’s 7th Annual Student Design Competition

With the plethora of design competition options now available to students of architectural schools every year, it quickly becomes a challenge of how to set yourself apart?  Leave it to NELMA to come up with an idea that is truly “out there”, with this year’s Student Competition titled “Moon Shot:  A Lumber Lunar Colony!”.

Announced in February, more than 75 Architecture and Design Colleges and Schools received the competition poster and information.

With the resurgence of news about space, Mars, and the Moon, not to mention recent rocket tests and shooting a Tesla car into space, this competition idea should stir the imagination of students in an environment where wood is not typically top-of-mind!

Here’s the set-up:  It’s the year 2035 and NASA is implementing the final phase of human habitation of the moon program.  Wood, as the most sustainable and renewable construction material on the planet, has been chosen as the primary element for use in habitation construction within existing environmental domes.

The Assignment:  Explore the uses of wood as the primary building material for the colony, specifically to design living/working spaces that leverage the attributes of Spruce-Pine-Fir for the structural elements and Eastern White Pine for finishing applications.

Design Prompts:

  • How can you use wood to make earth’s migrants feel more at home?
  • What will lunar living look like and include? Dormitories? Open Spaces? Green Spaces?
  • Will there be shared structures?
  • How can space be maximized for efficiency?

This is NELMA’s 7th year of offering an architecture and design student challenge; a no-fee competition that engages students in a dialogue about sustainability and to think of using wood products as a contemporary construction and design material.  Design entries are due by August 25 and Awards will be provided to the First Place ($1,500) and Second Place ($750) winners.   Look for an announcement of the winning designs in September at the NELMA Annual Meeting.



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