Klaf2019 : international ideas competition

first colony on mars



27 APRIL 2019, 11.59pm GMT+8

First Colony on Mars: International Ideas Competition is part of the KUALA LUMPUR ARCHITECTURAL FESTIVAL 2019 (KLAF2019: TOMORROW)’s program.

It is an international competition open to all persons. The idea of a human colony in a planet far, far away from Earth has been a recurring theme of science fiction in writing and film. This ideas competition extends the theme to architecture and design of the physical manifestations of the colony, enabling architects, designers and just about anyone to dream about how life in a colony away from Earth could or should be like.



First Prize

USD10,000 +


Second Prize

USD5,000 +


Third Prize

USD2,000 +

Key Dates


The Panel of Jury shall evaluate the entries based on the following criteria:

  1. Design, engineering and building excellence
  2. Innovative and sustainable solutions
  3. Uniqueness of the scheme
  4. Expandable and replicable
  5. Buildability



Ar. Dexter Y.P. Koh


Ar. Daniel Choo Heng Huat

Panel of Jury

  1. Ar. Ezumi Harzani Ismail, Immediate Past President of PAM
  2. Rita Soh, President of ARCASIA or nominee
  3. Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Ar. Hj Esa Hj Mohamed, Immediate Past President, International Union of Architects (UIA)

  1. Dr Barbara Imhof, Space Architect, Researcher & Educator. Co-Founder LIQUIFER Systems Group, Vienna, Austria
  2. Professor Emerita Datuk Mazlan Othman Director, International Science Council
    (Regional Office for Asia & The Pacific)


To seek the best design and architectural solution for the first human colony on Mars that is innovative and self-sustaining which can grow and thrive.

A design for the first human colony on planet Mars, to be built using materials from Planet Earth, to be transported across space in whole, or in part and assembled on Mars.

It shall be designed for up to 50 couples who have been selected through balloting and comprise equally of males and females between 20-45 years of age. The colony is to be designed with an environment which is self-sufficient and self- sustaining for human population, with the understanding that the atmosphere and landscape on Planet Mars may not be conducive to the population. Basic infrastructure and amenities must address atmosphere, climate, shelter, water, food and security.

There should also be some planning for future expansion of the colony, say for the next batch of 50 humans and so forth, whether by replication or other methods.

Information in the following websites, whilst not exhaustive, can be referred to understand the Planet Mars project and the current research and findings undertaken by NASA and others. The fictional work of Andy Weir, ‘The Martian’ serves as a paradigm of a writer’s imaginings of a colony on Mars.


The colony is to be situated near Mar's equator on the western side of a flat, smooth plain called Elysium Planitia, which NASA has selected as the Mars landing site in November 2018. Please refer to the link below for further information.



InSight's Landing Site: Elysium Planitia


Finalist Site for Next Landing on Mars: This map shows the single area under continuing evaluation as the InSight mission's Mars landing site, as of a year before the mission's May 2016 launch. The finalist ellipse marked is within the northern portion of flat-lying Elysium Planitia about four degrees north of Mars' equator.

Competition Rules & Conditions

a) This Ideas Competition is an international competition open to all persons.

b) No member of the competition organising committee, member of the jury, nor any person who has been concerned with the preparation or organization of this competition shall be eligible to compete or assist a competitor.

c) There is no limit to the number of entries submitted by any person who complies with the above. However, the rules of the Competition herein (including the registration and submission procedure) shall likewise be applicable to each additional entry.

d) Entries can be submitted by an individual or group of individuals.

a) There is a registration fee of USD25.00 for each entry.

b) Only registered participants may submit queries and entries to the Competition.

c) Each participant may submit more than one (1) entry subject to compliance with the rules of the Competition herein (including the registration and submission procedure) for every entry made.

d) One submission per registration. Participants may submit multiple entries but each entry will have to be registered during the registration period.

The Competition will be conducted in a single stage, i.e. participants’ entries will be judged as submitted without the need for further submissions or interviews / presentations by the participants.

a) All submissions must not bear any name of the participant or any identifying marks whatsoever so as to ensure anonymity.

b) Submissions received by the Competition Secretariat shall be assigned an entry number which would not be made known to any party other than the Competition Secretariat.

c) Anonymity of all participants must be preserved throughout the entire duration of the Competition.

d) All entries submitted shall be kept secret until the final results are announced.

e) Non-compliance with any of the Competition rules and conditions may result in the entry being disqualified from the Competition.

a) Participants may submit queries via the Query Form in the website (https://www.klaf.my/competition/mars) or email to query.mars@klaf.my which will be made available from 7 February 2019 onwards.

b) All queries must be submitted by 20 February 2019.

c) Official replies to the queries, if any, based on the queries submitted, will form part of the conditions and instructions and shall be posted on the KLAF2019 Website by 27 February 2019.

All entries must consist of the following, to be uploaded to the competition website:

a) Illustrated 2 x A1-sized boards in portrait format, to be placed side by side


Illustrated 1 x A0-sized board in landscape format.

Either of the above to be submitted electronically in .pdf format, minimum 300dpi, CMYK, and must not be bigger than 100Mb

A lower-resolution of the above to be saved in .jpg format of 72dpi.

a) Each submission of entry shall be uploaded on the website www.klaf.my

b) All submissions must be received by the Competition Secretariat not later than 17:00 hours Malaysia Time (GMT+8), Friday, 26 April 2019.

a) Failure by participants to comply with the rules and conditions of this Competition may lead to immediate disqualification from the Competition.

b) Late submission of any entry may be disqualified.

c) The work submitted must be of original creation. It must be unpublished or has not been submitted to any other competitions or events.

d) The work and the participant will be disqualified immediately from the Competition if plagiarism is found or brought to the attention of the Organisers at any point during the Competition. Any winners/shortlist will be removed from the participant(s)’ title and winnings.

e) The Jury shall have the sole and absolute discretion in deciding on the acceptance or disqualification of any entry on any grounds whatsoever; and the decision of the Jury on the same shall be final and binding on all parties concerned.

a) The Organiser reserves the right to retain all entries for the purposes of exhibition, publicity and promotion, subject always to the provision of Copyright Act 1987 (ACT 332) and all its amendments for the time being in force in Malaysia.

b) The Organiser reserves the right to reproduce any of the submitted materials in their publications and websites or in other publications and websites authorized by them, without any payment to any party, and in doing so, will undertake to give due credit and acknowledgement to the authors concerned.

c) All designs, including those disqualified by the jury, shall be exhibited, as a general rule, together with a copy of the signed report of the Jury. The exhibition shall be open to the public free of charge.

d) The Organiser shall notify registered competitors in good time of the date and place of the public exhibition and of the results of the Competition.

a) The copyright of all the participants’ works shall be in accordance with the Copyright Act 1987 (ACT 332) and any of its amendments for the time being in force in Malaysia.

b) The author of any design shall retain the copyright of his work; no alterations may be made without his formal consent.

c) In all cases, the author of any design shall retain the right of reproduction, subject always to the provision of Article 16 (b) above

a) The Organiser will not accept responsibility for any loss or problems with the transmission of the entries.

(for submission, judging & exhibition)

i. 2 x A1 Boards

ii. 1 x A0 Board

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