NASA Space Apps Hackathon

Beyond our solar system, could a world teeming with glowing giant mushrooms exist? 

🪐  I revisited a lifelong interest in space science through the lens of design practice in a weekend hackathon last fall. With brilliant folks who had all just met, we created a virtual reality world that was crafted around a story about an exoplanet that harbored mega fungi - beautiful yet radioactive.

🏆 Oh, and our team ExoSpace won the Seattle nomination to advance to the Global Challenge for NASA Space Apps Challenge

🍄 Speculative design asks us to envision a possible future by examining our present. The world we designed, Exotopia, illustrated the leaps that life as we know it would need to thrive elsewhere: giving us an appreciation for flourishing biomes on our blue oasis, and the subsequent call to care for that abundant beauty here on Earth. Earning us the local Most Inspirational award.

🏆  Most Inspirational: ExoSpace

🏆  Seattle’s Global Nominee 

Team: Michael Zhang, Sarah AlgomaieAnna Czoski, Guillermo Reyes, Kurt Harris, Miyu Nakamori

Many thanks to the sponsors, judges, and volunteers who made the event welcoming and engaging!

Space Apparel Open Source

I grew up obsessed by Hubble Space Telescope images of far off galaxies and nebulae, aka stellar nurseries. So full of color and detail, they gave me a feeling of expansive possibility. On my middle school mall trips, I would peruse the astronomy-themed apparel but was underwhelmed with the blotchy, gradient  hodge-podge starfield backpacks and leggings. That’s not what I saw at the IMAX Omni Theater in the Museum of Science and Industry as a kid in Chicago.  

A few years back, a Seattle start-up on a mission to create super-soft, made-to-order leggings tapped me to create 3D models for their on-demand catalog. I obliged, and also submitted a few designs of my own to the catalog of, you guessed it, some gorgeous NASA photos.

The company, Bombsheller, has since gone out of business, but friends continue to ask where to get these galactic designs for their legs. Due to popular demand, I created a store and a DIY option as well. 

These images were captured via public funds (NASA-JPL in most cases). They are already freely available, but the design software can be cumbersome to wrangle.

I offer two options for fellow astronomy lovers who like my designs:

1. download the completed design files
         - Customize where and how the design gets printed. (e.g., or your local maker space.)

2. Order via Redbubble - a print-on-demand service
          - If you prefer a different site than RedBubble (such as Society6) let me know!

The Final Frontier is for everyone. 🖖

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