If an architect on planet earth wants to design a home, he or she must work with the same basic elements designers have used for centuries: floors, walls, and ceilings.
That all changed when designers began planning dwelling units for astronauts. In zero gravity, there’s no up, no down, no reason to distinguish floors from walls from ceilings! Every surface was a potential light source, dinner table (just add Velcro) or toilet (please don't mix them up). But the astronauts living in those spaces had a much different take on that design revolution.
It turns we need more than our basic biological needs met in order to feel comfortable. We need a view of the horizon, we need light overhead (like the sun) and we need the ritual of sitting down at a proper table to share a meal together. The more alien the environment, the more reminders we need of our humanity.
99% Invisible explores design for astronauts, today on KUOW Presents.
Other stories on KUOW Presents, Tuesday, March 19:
- New Israeli Bus Lines for Palestinian Workers Bring Both Resentment and Relief
- Moving Up Isn't Always Easy
- You Know You're Wealthy When
- Single Settles Down - With No Regrets
- Why We Love A Good Scare
- Dissecting Zombies
- How Accurate Are Movies About Viruses?
- Apodments (A new kind of Seattle apartment with a resemblance to astronaut quarters!)
- Permission To Stay
- The Power Of Emerging Economies
- Public Surveillance