Space architecture is already
a bona fide specialty within THE PROFESSION. its lessons will
infiltrate the mainstream, changing the way we DESIGN, build,
Use the following learning objectives
to focus your study while reading this months
ARCHITECTURAL RECORD / AIA Continuing Education article.
After reading this article, you will be able to:
1. Describe how research and innovations
for outer space are currently being used in architecture.
2. Explain how sustainability and
life cycle will be different for structures in outer
3. Identify types of construction
suitable for structures in outer space.
Take away gravity, atmosphere, orientation, natural light,
sound, and context, then add dangerous radiation, abrasive
planetary dust, and orbital debris, and design and construction
of habitable environments of any kind becomes baffling and
disorienting. To be fair, living on the third rock from the
sun requires that we obey the laws of physics, which govern,
without exception, all the possibilities of sustaining life
on Earth. Granted, since the Industrial Revolution technological
advances have given us the mixed blessing of defying some
of these laws. But it was the launch of Sputnik in 1957, and
the fierce international competition it sparked, that inspired
us to imagine living beyond the surly bonds of
Earth and to apply our considerable ingenuity and will to
make it inevitable.
Proposed TransHab Module
as it would be attached to the orbiting International
Space Station (ISS).
Progress has been astonishing in just a few decades, as evidenced
this October at the World Space Congress 2002 (WSC) in Houston.
The WSC convenes only once every 10 years, but it is vast,
with 20,000 participants from scores of nations. Hosted by
the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA),
one purpose of the nine-day Congress this year was to bring
together scientists with engineers and architects to initiate
collaboration for future Earth-based and interplanetary exploration.
The concept of an interdisciplinary approach to extraterrestrial
design and construction prompted the AIAA Technical Subcommittee
on Aerospace Architecture to organize the First Symposium
on Space Architecture, a three-day event that preceded the
WSC. Forty-seven architects, designers, and academics delivered
dozens of papers covering a dizzying array of topics from
the emerging aerospace curriculum for architecture students
to the design of orbiting space hotels.
The symposium concluded with an all-day workshop in which
participants, including students, conceived a philosophical
foundation for the nascent field of space design and construction.
Their product, dubbed The Millennium Charter,
is a manifesto for space architecture. The workshop organizer,
Constance Adams, space architect and human factors engineer
at Lockheed Martin Space Operations, says that the group chose
as its model the 1928 Congrès Internationaux dArchitecture
Moderne (CIAM), at which an international group of architects
gathered to deflect criticism by certifying a bond between
modern architecturespecifically the International Styleand
a world in transition.