mY: 218 mM: Pisces Sol:12 Time: 23:51 (Airy crater)
I have looked through many job offers in private companies and space agencies. Engineers, scientists, managers are warm welcomed. Sometimes there is a job demand for psychological, PR or even medical services. No one is hiring architects.
Architecture is all about relation ship between space around and human being. Architects create and direct people to see and experience arrangements of the environment. In the same time they implement all necessary technical means from structural solution to simple electrical switch.
I heard opinion that this is completely unnecessary on this stage of human conquer of cosmos: to work with architects on constant basis and nobody wants to create a working place for this purpose. Such approach allows decisive people to forget that habitable space should serve people. They focus on technical, measurable goals… forgetting that we are not machines - countable, predictable, easy to describe with parameters.
Regrettably saying architects are not commonly present in space industry. One may say – there are many competitions - particularly provided for architects to throw some ideas… Widely organized by agencies and societies. Observing the results, and generalizing , I would say that architectural practices focus on function layout, sophisticated, artistic look of the design with some implementation of a few key technologies. The truth is that it is mostly done due to importance of PR - still it is far from real solutions. Have you ever heard of Norman Foster’s space design division?
Global coordination of ideas is left untouched. What you may read in press/internet, grab among science articles – this is what you may base on. No comprehend knowledge base is created. Every team starting in any competition must gather their information from the beginning. No agreed standards are provided. No one is working on them. Lack of such standards leads to slow development and huge waste of effort….
To fulfill this gap a term: space architect was created. Space architect combines interdisciplinary knowledge in theory and practice of designing and building inhabited environments in outer space (you may also consider bottom of the ocean as an out space).
There are only a few of them, you may assign fully those words to. Yet – due to novelty of this approach, it is not popular andt it is not incorporated into space industry well enough. Now economical, technical , functional aspects take main lead… But in 100 years time such approach will result in simplified, utilitarian, industrial and soulless environment. Finally architects will have to clean up the space making it more bearable for future generations, as they did with postindustrial environment of XIX and XX century.
I would like not to repeat the same mistake we made then. There should be human-centered approach from the very beginning, not letting technics, economy, unrespectful attitude of corporative income optimization to take place.
What do you think ? Should architects be involved on the deeper level or they would just create unnecessary set of additional requirements that only rise the overall cost?
Awaiting your comments
ps1. Please check the work of real Space architects - a competition for 1000 people habitat https://www.marssociety.org/…/finalists-selected-for-mars-…/
I had a privilege to meet some members of Polish Team presenting the project “Twardowsky”. The approach in creating this colony – is a good sample of how the future of habitat design should look like. Synergy of multidisciplinary approach resulted in the design that is more li8ikely to be constructed than any other I have seen so far.