Leslie Valverde Ayers

Leslie Valverde Ayers

New York, NY, US


Exodus Infrastructure



The planet Earth is on the edge of destruction. Oil spills, nuclear meltdowns, and an out-of-control population boom have turned the world’s cities into dangerous slums and the oceans to toxic wastelands. Leaving Earth and living in space is the only option for human survival. The planet’s scientists, engineers, tradespeople, and organizers come together to create a means of leaving earth that is the greatest engineering endeavor in human history. The entire population of the planet will be evacuated through a network of pods in global strategic locations. A system to both build the habitation pods and transport them beyond the edges of the atmosphere is envisioned. The infrastructure required is immense: using all the remaining resources and working across generations to create a Link to the sky.




Construction of the Link occurs in multiple phases. The first phase is the incremental creation of the vertical structure and vertical force. These vertical elements - arranged in a ring 196 miles in diameter and 104 miles high at the final completion - are the primary structural and organization components of the design. These vertical elements are a city within themselves, providing urban habitat for all involved in the building and organizing of the project. Additionally, the hub for governance and administration, Central Control, is at the base of the structure.


Energy for the majority of the project is provided by hydroelectricity. As the water moves through the turbines, it also passes through a purification and desalination system where it becomes suitable for human use.


In the second phase, the construction of the pods begins. During this phase, each pod rotates as its exoskeleton, internal structure, shell, and major systems are completed. This rotation serves as a circular assembly line, allowing teams working on each aspect to stay in one place as the pod comes to them.


The third phase sees each pod become habitable: life support systems, urban habitats, transportation systems, and initial supplies are installed. Plant and animal life as well as both agriculture and aquaculture are initiated. In the fourth phase, populations are settled in the pod - each pod accommodates 6 million initial inhabitants, with a population cap of 12 million. The geometry of the pods are designed to mimic the curvature of the earth and human perception of atmospheric distance, so as to allow for visual freedom. Habitation pods maintain the delicate balance of life within the enclosed system. Complex Geosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, biosphere and anthrosphere systems are duplicated with rigid flexibility for adaptation in space.


Phase five requires that the pod stops at the airspace dock - a checkpoint for all life systems located 62 miles from the Earth’s surface, at the edge of Earth’s atmosphere and outer space. Launch preparation begins with the securing of the centripetal forces system to the pod.

 The sixth phase is lift-off: simultaneous centripetal and vertical forces are applied, releasing the pod into space where it becomes a self-controlled craft. As more pods are released, they are joined together to form communities, forging new lives while looking back at the planet they once called home.

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Status: Competition Entry
My Role: Designer
Additional Credits: Partner: Kristina Buchler