Expo Faces

A house on the Moon

By Yu Ran (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-07-02 09:46
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A house on the Moon
Mikael Genberg with a model of his Swedish cottage on the Moon. provided to china daily

Swedish artist Mikael Genberg plans to put a traditional Swedish cottage on the Moon in 2013 and his ideas are featured in the Sweden Pavilion.

Genberg gave a speech at the Sweden Pavilion last month to encourage innovative individuals and companies to move to Stockholm, the capital of Sweden.

His plan for putting a house on the Moon has been more than 10 years in the making.

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A house on the Moon

"I got the idea in 1999 and couldn't let go of it," said Genberg. "It was too brilliant. Although most people who heard it thought I was crazy at the beginning." Genberg has been working on the project since 2003.

Genberg is an artist full of imagination and innovation and the winner of numerous awards in Sweden for his creativity and entrepreneurship in alternative housing concepts.

A number of national space organizations have come onboard and are working to make the project a reality. Swedish private investors have funded the project with about $5.8 million and an association called Manhusets Vanner (The Moonhouse Friends) was formed in 2006 to help with the project.

"Paris has the Eiffel Tower, Sydney has the Opera House and China has the Great Wall, we have thousands of red cottages in Sweden," Genberg said.

This is not the first time that he has worked on projects inspired by Sweden's red cottages. Other projects he has created include the Woodpecker, a hotel tree house near Stockholm and the Utter Inn, a cottage on the water.

For Genberg, a house on the Moon will make the world a better place.

"The plan is to create a long series of related charity and social institutions back here on Earth," Genberg said. "This project is about competence and most importantly about courage. We want to show that together we can make the impossible possible."

The traditional red cottages in Sweden are built from wood but the Moon cottage will be constructed with a lightweight material that is both collapsible and inflatable.

"The cottage is really a machine designed for landing on the Moon. Weighing 10 kilograms, this shoe-box size machine will fly to the Moon and unfold with a spring device to become a 12-square-meter house," said the artist.

Genberg said he has received technical support from NASA.

The inflatable house will be made from a material that hardens under the influence of ultraviolet light.

As the future plans to follow up on the project, there will be copies of the Moon houses built on Earth for people to visit.

Along with the project, there is the Moon House Academy, a digital forum created to spark interest in science and technology among young people, and to encourage entrepreneurship.

Genberg also plans to raise funds for the project by selling 366 individual nights stay at his Moon house. Even if the buyer can't use it right now, Genberg suggests that grandchildren may be able to use the house as it is likely to stand for a long time.


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