For everyone who enjoyed the isolation of the pandemic, the resurgence of social life is a bit of a rude awakening. People are catching on to the fact that things like seating and sidewalks contribute to the vibrancy and vitality of our communities – but for many, that means it’s getting a little too lively outside once again.

For those who crave another long stretch of alone time, or even just a good long while of peace and quiet, the latest craze is a new phenomenon called Spacemaking. This trend is charting a new, less-connected future off-planet. Just think about the best parts of spending much of the last two years isolated in our homes… And then imagine how great it would be with 62% less gravity, and everyone wearing soundproof space suits!

Spacemaking recognizes the demand to disconnect – and has found an answer in other, less crowded parts of the solar system. Of our neighboring planets, Mars will be the first to play host to a new generation of Spacemakers. The first crews are scheduled to take off later this year, in what is sure to be a long, quiet trip. But beyond this initial group, the benefits are sure to attract interest:

Long-distance commuting? Check.
Silence along the way? Certainly.
Likelihood of chance encounters with neighbors? Close to zero.

To the leaders of the movement, these benefits are clear. After all, what kind of “breathing room” on Earth could ever compare to the blissful and absolute solitude that comes with wearing an airtight, pressurized suit in the vacuum of space?

What comes next is how to design this new environment on Mars – initial tests on sites meant to become Mars’ first parks elicited valuable lessons: for example, seating needs to be chained down so that it does not float off and get lost. It seems our usual earthly Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper approaches might not work in this case, but a new Heavier, Slower, Astronomically Expensive strategy could!

So, if you’re ready to take a break from social life, and want to get a view of what a future led by Spacemaking will look like, you simply need to keep an eye on the sky (and hope that you don’t spot anyone you know).

Here’s to a future with less facetime and more spacetime...


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