Robert David reached out to me (Kai) in November 2020, when SAM was building momentum toward construction at Biosphere 2. Robert is a resident-employee at the world renowned Arcosanti, a prototype arcology in the high-elevation Arizona desert. This testing ground for the innovative architect Soleri’s progressive urban planning concepts is now five decades since its 1970 founding. Arcosanti is regarded as an early example of sustainable architecture that prioritizes live-work spaces where the surrounding natural environment is cherished over urban sprawl.
In many ways, Arcosanti could be taken as an analog for the first communities on Mars. This intrigued Kai early in the conversations with Robert. Robert’s friend of many years Angus Gluck spearheaded research into insulated shipping containers for the SAM living quarters, and is guiding their level placement upon arrival. Angus is a resident of Flagstaff, Arizona, a builder in many trades, and regular visitor to Arcosanti.
Robert and David came to us with a can-do, doesn’t matter how hard the project, we’ll get it done! attitude. True to their word, they dove right into grinding and sanding in the lung (which is not fun), a first and second pass of rust removal on the lung rings (see the banner at top), sanding the exterior of the lung shell, hanging electrical disconnects, and applying the primer in the Test Module. Our days and evenings were filled with conversation guided by Robert about the incredible confluence of mathematics, programming, and augmented digital realities, while Angus share insights into innovative, often efficient methods for construction and the development of living spaces.
Thank you both for your many contributions over such a short period of time.