Architectural Studies Relating to the Nature of Human Body Motion in Microgravity 912076
The absence of gravity in Space alters what we take for granted on Earth. In microgravity the human body experiences significant postural and perceptual changes. From an architectural perspective these transformations have profound epistemic implications on the human/environment relationship.
On Earth what binds every elements of space into a landscape is the invisible force of gravity. It shapes and structures everything around us; and architecture has throughout the ages expressed the relationship between Human beings and their habitat in terms of post and lintel structures and their inherent rectilinear geometries. In space, however, the organizational geometries of architectural elements obey the laws of microgravity to form a spacescape or spacefield. In order to pursue design strategies sensible to the human condition in weightlessness it is necessary to assess in practical geometrical terms the interface morphology of human mobility in microgravity. Once a basic taxonomy of human motions and their intrinsic geometries is established, it becomes possible to design a living habitat addressing in particular orientation, mobility and environmental interface issues. These ideas briefly mentioned here will be presented through several life size mock-up studies done between 1985 and 1988 at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and continued more recently by the Space Projects Group in Japan and in California.
If weightlessness can modify our bodily experiences, it will certainly lead our collective consciousness to new ways of knowing. Thus, the physics of microgravity must be the primary guidelines to designing crew accommodations for an orbital outpost.