Michael Morris (AR89) and his late wife-and-partner architect, Yoshiko Sato (AR89), co-founded the NYC-based architecture practice Morris Sato Studio in 1996. As Morris Sato Studio they built and exhibited projects in North America, Europe, and East Asia. Presented in leading publications and periodicals, Morris Sato Studio’s architecture, art, design, and science collaborations have been internationally recognized with professional honors and awards including the John Q. Hejduk Award in 2013.
Concurrent with private practice Morris has taught as a faculty member of The Cooper Union, Parsons, and Pratt Institute. In 2012, Morris took over on the leadership of the Space Architecture Studio and Space Exploration Research Lab at Columbia University (SEArc) founded by Sato in 2006 to explore the future of architecture for human life in outer space. In 2013 Morris participated as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in NASA’s Net Habitable Volume Consensus Session, and from 2015-2018 became a Research Fellow leading NASA’s Exploration (X-HAB) Innovation Studios at Pratt Institute.
In 2015, Morris co-founded Space Exploration Architecture (SEArch+). The primary mission of SEArch+ is to develop and realize human-supporting architectures and designs for living in space and space exploration. As project team leader of MARS ICE HOUSE (MIH), Morris led 8 architects to win 1st Prize in the NASA’s 2015 Centennial Challenge. SEArch+’s current collaborations include ongoing projects with NASA’s Langley Research Center (LCR) on MARS ICE HOME, and with United Technologies Aerospace Systems (UTAS) for new Environmental Control Life Support Systems (ECLSS) for all future NASA spacecraft and habitats. With multiple 1st place awards in NASA’s 2019 Centennial Challenge Competition for design and structure, MARS X HOUSE and SEArch+ are advancing to realize a 3D printed habitat exclusively from in-situ resources (ISRU) on both on the Moon and Mars.
In 2019, Morris presented his space-related teaching and work with SEArch+ as part of the Lisbon Architecture Triennial Critical Distance series; his essay and SEArch+ portfolio “5 Houses for Mars” were published by Foundation EDP in ELECTRA 5; and he gave the keynote talk “From Our House to Mars House” as part of Design March 2019 in Reykjavik, Iceland. Recent SEArch+ Museum presentations include: the 2017 Art and the Universe at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan; Hello, Robot, an 8 international Museum tour organized by the Vitra Design Museum in Germany from 2017-2021; in 2018 The Moon, at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark; and in 2019-20 Far Out: Suits, Habs and Labs for Outer Space at SFMOMA in San Francisco, CA and Moving to Mars: Design for the Red Planet, at the Design Museum in London, England.