Up in the air

Drawing the ISS from memory, an exercise that reveals preconceptions, misconceptions and most of all our imaginative musings about what a space station should look for, shaped by images from ‘science fiction, speculative futurism, and alternate or parallel histories.’ The International Space Station is the ultimate example of ad-hoc, functional design. We’re not sure whether the legions of ‘sci-fi inspired’ designers are awed or infuriated by the ISS’s ramshackle experience (despite it being regularly cited as ‘the most expensive object ever built’) – it’s so far removed from the sleek but improbable galactic aesthetic of, say, 2001. The reality hasn’t moved on very far from the nightmarish warren of wire-filled tunnels shown in Mission to Mir, although we are slightly more familiar with ISS interiors thanks to social media-friendly astronauts. The post at sevensixfive delves into the station’s history, alternate versions and future concepts. The salient point is this: ‘Since the end of the shuttle program, space exploration has no central image to associate itself with. The International Space Station is probably the most complex, most important piece of architecture ever made, but no one knows what it looks like.’ Bonus, explore the ISS and re-live Gravity with NASA’s old Station Spacewalk Game from 2010.

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