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Citation:Hume, S. (2021). Orbital vacancy. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5388
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5388
RESEARCH QUESTION: How can the microgravity environment of Low Earth Orbit inform the design of an orbital tourism experience? ABSTRACT: Within the next decade humans are set to become an interplanetary species. This is not the beginning of the end for our habitation on Earth. The technologies and innovations required to travel vast distances through Space and inhabit other worlds will feed back into Earth, allowing a new foundation for a more sustainable future. Historically, humanity’s adventures into Space have provided an opportunity to look back at Earth and consider how far we have come. From the vantage point of Space, astronauts become susceptible to a cognitive shift known as the “Overview Effect”. The experience leaves astronauts with a heightened environmental consciousness and an advocacy for global cooperation that lasts a lifetime. This architectural project is designed to utilise the Overview Effect and influence the minds of participants. Space stations traditionally operate as orbiting laboratories and have been designed to maximise economic or scientific return. An engineer driven design results in laboratory equipment and spatial efficiency being prioritized to the detriment of the career astronauts operating the station. These stations have cramped living spaces, busy work schedules and disorientating layouts, which affect the health and wellbeing of their inhabitants. This project postulates at how a new typology of Space station could be designed to accommodate paying guests whilst also exposing participants to the Overview Effect.