Imagination is the most individual and intense activity of design.
It connects the space– between the perception and understanding.
It is different from other mental processes because imagination does not need any reference. It creates its image.
When we are talking about architectural imagination, we pay a lot of attention to, form and how it is going to look like, independent from materials, investment and function. This is architectural imagination at work.
It brings us to knowledge.
ARCHITECTURE AS SCIENCE
In the history of Architecture, there are two important moments:
First of all, the invention of Perspective by a Renaissance architect Brunelleschi, converging all orthogonal lines into a point at infinity.
That later influenced Immanuel Kant to conclude that the stars in the sky might be another galaxies.
The second invention is the Sensor technology and Nero-Science that rationalize our senses revealing a new paradigm that is Neuro-Architecture. The information that we gain from greater potential to reveal the needs and preferences of individuals enables analyzing consciousness or subliminal responses that grabbed how our brain and body react to the environment and how it affects our well-being and health.
Neuro-Architecture allows us to create places that is the same alignment of our instincts and human nature and this knowledge will create an architectural revolution which is much more promising. The reason why we create a place is that we are in need somewhere to lean on physically and emotionally.
Even though, the standards of flight are very strict- in long duration Space travels, individualization is going to be a must. If scientists and architects are united to construct spaceships that can be integrated with living functions, they will learn to think and deal with needs and make necessary changes to adapt to the emotional state of living.
That makes you feel more belonging to the environment which human and machine cooperation kicks here, important since the environment here should be like a dress that is comfortable and providing needs without making its presence felt by, allowing the integration with the crew and craft. The success of an extended mission on a Space Station depends on the crew being an integral part of the interior design.
Spaceships are half machine half architecture. Infrastructure and construction need to be done together: electrical system, ventilation, installation, lighting… Architects and engineers need to work together. Until this time, we realized the typology of space architecture is from the space stations we construct.
Typology is the essence of the building defining the system that has nothing to do with the five senses. Skylab, Mir and ISS are forming a certain kind of typology that follows each other. The key point is to systematize and operate the typology so that we can create infinite variety. That keeps us on the road to serial production, which is creating economy, and economy creates variety and competition as well.
What is this typology that is creating the space architecture?
FLEXIBILITY – MODULARITY -CHANGEABILITY
After the industrial era, the use of metal and technical advantages of it reflected into architecture.
When Joseph Paxton who is a gardener and an entrepreneur, built Lily’s House (green house) in Queen Victoria’ era, he developed the space cage inspired from the pattern of a lily. The pattern of a leaf is fractal design. It can solve the modularity problem because by understanding the design principle of the system you can solve the entire system.
Flexible and changeable means; thinking about the recycling process of mechanical parts from the very beginning of design. Development of production processes is such arrangement that the product will turn into another product after use.
The open plan is also an option where reshaping can be necessary.
The combination detail of these metals adds structural flexibility to the structure that enables modularity.
By contemporary means, the nodes and connection detail are the ornament in architecture.
If we think more thoroughly about the change of space, the module that lands on the surface of planet can perform another function after landing.
Göbeklitepe to ISS
If we start to examine space stations, we need to understand how we get there.
When we took vertical sections of history we see architecture, because architecture is what remains from humans.
Look at the these images,
You most probably start to compare them,
One is stone other is white painted, the other is metal
Let’s start from the first one –Göbeklitepe
How it meets the ground.
It almost seems to be emerging from the earth or the metaphor of mountain.
When we came to, Mies Van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House,
It is lifted off the earth. It is kind of perches on the Earth and is still conscious of the landscape.
When we came to space stations architecture, they free from the earth surface, elevated from the ground and conceptualized.
Skylab- Mir- ISS
Due to the technical importance of the subject, the architectural part is still very primitive. But it is going to arise from its restrictions.
The important thing is to understand what you can do and what you can’t do and be creative in this restricted zone.
When we compare Skylab, Mir, and ISS
they are going through their own evolution process.
Anything that is done is a reference for the subsequent ones.
For example; the Mir space station has Crew Quarters, designed by the information taken from Skylab. It provides a visual barrier for a little privacy.
Skylab has no opening at all- while Mir has a 20 cm window. ISS has a better window size- that enables astronauts to observe the planet Earth and space.
The interior architecture is messed up with cables, poor acoustic, and ventilation problems and poor lighting throughout.
International Space Station can host seven people continually.
For the first time, the well-being, human psychology, and maximizing the efficiency became important subjects for a space station.
We experience modification and fixing objects in a continuous free-fall position.
These initiatives lead to space industry and infrastructure that allows for larger and more complex volumes.
Color, amount of light, sound and odor are not just superficial and not intangible. They are very real, very strong, powerful tools and have a real physical presence.
Even if you design the most beautiful place in the universe, if it smells bad you will not go.
A VIEW THROUGH SPACE
Windows have a very important function and effect in architecture.
In architectural history, we learn how to design windows much later. This happened while building a spaceship as well. Engineers first deemed it unnecessary yet the result was worth it. The small module with windows was named the ‘Cupola’. Windows have a very positive impact. The size and the shape of windows is another important consideration.
In their free time, what astronauts enjoy most is to gaze at the planet Earth. To create escapism, window is more than just form. It forms the connection of human with outside world.
The capability to obtains and share information on the surroundings and nature. We are awed by life inside our lives, even by watching the sunset, phases of the moon and the tide. Our interaction and bonds with the nature are very important for us to make sense of life. With Anima Mundi, we believe that the universe has a soul as well, making ourselves one with the nature and its events. When we consider safety reasons, to be able to take shelter against external impact.
LIGHT- INTEGRATING LIGHT
The light that enables me to see has significant impact on mental state, cognitive function, behavior and physical health. Light creates correlation between melatonin, endocrine and cortisol levels to prepare the body for activity and satisfaction.
In fact, the amount of light in the nature constantly changes within the day. Light and humidity may vary in each point (color, shadows, brightness contrasts, sun angle; thermal/haptic sensations associated with direct sun, wind, and humidity). The organization of light especially in long duration missions, is a principal design factor.
Light creates colors which allow visual experience that we use in making the world meaningful. Architecturally, in the 1970’s we jump to another level about color (Center Pompidou in Paris). Then color is used for technical purposes beyond taste and culture. I think it will be much more successful especially in long term space missions.
1-In a place where there is no direction, color can be used to create perception and give information about the building. The color schema can be used for way finding, up and down relation.
2-For communication and automation purposes – giving distinct colors to building systems- electrical system, HVAC (heating, ventilating, Air condition, and Cooling), plumbing etc.
MEMORY IN REAL -AUGMENTED REALITY VIRTUAL REALITY
Virtual reality and augmented reality can provide a significant advantage to cope with special moments and for the satisfaction of visual experience and homesickness. As we move away from the world, the reaction of people is mysterious. We still do not know about people’s reaction. These two kinds of realities have the effect of creating ambiance, without adding extra load to the structure. And ambiance is the theme that architects really care about. We can create cozy atmosphere in social and private places. The sounds of nature and even the smell can be provided in the room. However, one criticism of virtual reality tools is that they do not capture the full multi-sensory experience of humans in the built environment, but they are still an improvement over the past.
SOUND DESIGN –VENTILATING, ACOUSTIC, NOISE
We are getting smarter but are still far away from the wisdom of nature; we need to understand what nature means. Nature does not leave waste behind. It does not create pollution, so it is essential to observe the nature. You have to be aware of the hidden knowledge and pull it out. Nature is noiseless and what makes our spacecraft unbearable is the noise and buzzing inside.
Today’s spacecraft, tools computers and machines are making a lot of noise whereas nature whereas has solved the problem. If we examine and take advantage of the spiral-shaped seashells they both provide ventilating and cooling their selves with zero sound.
Yes, we have developed, but we still have a long way to go.
Spiral energy needs to be investigated. If this information can be used, energy efficiency and acoustic problem will be solved.
Even though space is a very expensive investment today, that may not be the case in the future.
Hook and Loop like ideas seem simple and provide solutions.
IMPORTANCE OF PLAY ELEMENT IN ARCHITECTURE
Lets finish with the importance of the play element in architecture.
LEGO like solutions may work well also because we are not only Homo-Sapiens but also Homo-Ludens meaning Play Loving. The play element and the satisfaction of playfulness can be achieved by attaching, changing the places of materials on grid that can satisfy my playfulness in a way.
THE CHILD WITHIN- always missed, always there. The most important of all.
My focus is its simple and lean thinking. We may design starships with artificial intelligence, we are laughing at absurd things, we are interested in meaningless things, and that will always be the case.
In essence we are all little Child.
This child needs game and stories. Building a spaceship is a serious and technical topic; we are going to develop a system for the need of entertainment of the child within.