Georgia Bowen - AMEC 2006 Melbourne

(left) Georgia Bowen enjoying her first EVA in the early version Mars analogue suit in 2006.


I am currently studying at the University of Western Australia, I just recently began my Bachelor of Environmental Design, a three year course that leads into a Masters of Architecture which is my present goal. The Course so far has been quite demanding and hard to fit into after a year filled with work and travels, not only in Western Australia but South America as well.

I graduated from Santa Maria College in 2008 and was accepted into UWA. I deferred for the year and began working to fund my trip overseas. I was very lucky to find a position working on a Tourist- Explorer boat up in the Kimberley's. It was fantastic to see so much of the north-west coastline; to visit hidden bays and magical reefs and generally explore a part of WA that most people will never see. I finished with 'the boats' a week before I flew off for my next adventure!

During the August of 2009 I left for Argentina as part of an exchange program called 'Latitude, Global Volunteering' [formally GAP Australia] in which I taught English in a Senior High School and a private Language School, learnt a little bit of Spanish, and a whole lot about their very relaxed culture. During that time I meant some fantastic people and learned how to ski, snow board, water ski and spent many hours wake-boarding. I rode horses in the Andes Mountains and hiked to different touristy sites. It was all exciting and fun.

After completing my placement I continued to travel around South America, Chile, Peru and Bolivia, where I had amazing experiences. I hiked the Macchu Piccu Incan Trail, a gruelling four day journey of climbing and camping in the Andes, carrying fully equipped back-packs. It was fantastic

Part of what contributed to my choice in the Architecture course was a design project I was involved in as a student member of the MSA while I was in Year 10 at St Joseph's School in Northam. The work I put into the re-designing of the Grain Silo for an analogue Mars Habitat was the first real time I'd ever focused my interests in the structural elements of a building as well as appreciating the environment for both its uses and affects within and around the hab. Presenting the Mars Analogue Research Station both in Perth at the Centre for Planetary and Space Studies and Melbourne, at the Australian Mars Exploration Conference, gave me not only confidence in public speaking, but confidence in my ideas, and my ability to learn more about the elements of design, the environment in connection to design, and the feasibility of particular structures.

When I graduate, I hope to take my skills and work overseas, with a focus on the environmental side of architecture, to ensure the structures I design are created with specific attention to the broad range of environmental aspects that are present and unique in each different site. To be successful, my ideas need to be forward thinking, economical and aesthetically attractive. In appreciation of these concerns, it would be exciting and extremely interesting to see how these rules might be applied to structures within the alien environment and geography of Mars. To be able to understand the extent to which the environment really does affect design, restrictions, necessities and functions of structures. To me Mars is a curious frontier, from the point of view of architecture, it is empty, whilst there are endless rules and difficulties, there are endless options and opportunities for creativity and better, more efficient designs.

Mars is a great challenge, it demands intense attention to detail, the environment is so different that it will force life to become different, Mars is a return to basic priorities, water, warmth, air, food etc using ultra-modern methods. From working with and on Mars our knowledge will expand exponentially, hopefully this knowledge will force us to advance our tools, our thinking and fast-track us into answers that will improve our planet. For these reasons, I think Mars could be an architect's dream, a life challenge, a source from which endless inspiration will come to mold a new system of architectural thought.