Space Exploration as Architecture

Architecture and design magazine Uncube has a new issue out today and it's all about outer space. Naturally, there's plenty of retro-futurism.

Some highlights from the issue include:

An interview with architect Ricardo Scofidio

So what is the vision for an object in space? The closing sequence of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, where the protagonist Dave Bowman [Keir Dullea] ends up in a Louis XVI bedroom, was alien, inexplicable and disturbing for me to watch – much more so than if it had been something that we perceive as a "space environment" as represented by Hollywood today. You mentioned that the future becomes what we project upon it – as far as I'm concerned there are very few examples in which someone predicted the future and that's exactly how it happened.

The work of Galina Balashova, Russian spaceship designer

It was not until the break-up of the Soviet Union that her architect colleagues learned of her role in what must be one of the unusual architectural challenges: Balashova designed dwellings that were beyond the laws of gravity. For this talented artist, the goal that the Russian Constructivists agonised over – an architecture floating free above the ground – was everyday routine.

Our fascination with traveling to the moon through history

By the early 1950s space travel was part of everyday popular culture. The golden age of space travel arrived before space travel actually became a reality. In the two decades following World War II, fuelled largely by post-war optimism combined with faith in technology and engineering, the possibility of space flight took a firm hold of the public imagination. References to rockets and space travel were everywhere, from television and movies to literature and comic books, toys and games, bubble gum and breakfast cereal.

The issue also has plenty of future-future features on space travel. You can check them out at uncubemagazine.com.


Image: 1984 waterocolor painting of the Mir space station by Galina Balashova via Uncube magazine