Hilda Espinal, CannonDesign’s Chief Technology Officer, has been tapped to sit on the advisory council for the HP Mars Home Planet Urbanization Challenge – a program that challenges architects, engineers and artists to devise plans for the colonization of the Red Planet. Rather than imagining the experiences of a few explorers taking their first steps, the project seeks to depict the buildings, transportation systems, protective clothing, and other everyday elements needed for an entire community to thrive. Taking this program a step further than typical design competitions, it challenges designers to create immersive and interactive depictions of life on Mars using virtual reality.

The HP Mars Home Planet project advances work initially done for Mars 2030, a virtual reality experience created in collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). It looks beyond 2030, to a time in the future where there are families and communities living on Mars. The goal of the project is to engage creative thinkers to solve some of the challenges of urbanization on a new planet. And ultimately, through the VR experience, people here on earth will be able to experience what life on Mars might be like.

To bring HP Mars Home Planet to-life, HP and NVIDIA partnered with AutodeskFusionLaunch ForthTechnicolorUnreal Engine and VIVE. Participants of the project will use best-in-class Autodesk software to make anything – from 3D models of Martian buildings and cities to vehicles and infrastructure. With creative and technical leadership from Technicolor, creators will then use Unreal Engine to create a virtual reality simulation of what life on Mars could be like for one million people. The environment will build on Mars Valley terrain from Fusion’s “Mars 2030” game, which is based on NASA research.

As part of the Advisory Board, Hilda will review top entries, provide feedback on designs, grade concepts, and along with other advisors, qualify concepts to move on as semi-finalists. Other advisors include Ted Gagliano, president of Post Production for Twentieth Century Fox, Ted Schilowitz, futurist at Paramount Pictures, Jen Dennis, head of VR at RSA Films, and Joaquin Ruiz, dean of the College of Sciences at the University of Arizona.

Learn more about HP Mars Home Planet >