Digi-fashion at SpaceCollective Projects

http://spacecollective.org/projects/Designing-Science-Fiction-ScenariosSharad Haksar

Sharad Haksar is an award winning digital photographer from India, clicking world-class advertising, fashion, still life and concept based photo shoots and stunning images.

Designing Science Fiction Scenarios

Project description

The course will be loosely inspired by the movie (and the book) The Man who Fell to Earth in which David Bowie plays an extraterrestrial visitor to our planet. Instead of being an alien from outer space, our main character will be a second generation space colony inhabitant who is traveling to earth for the first time. This gives the students the chance to describe/visualize the circumstances in a completely futuristic environment and contrast them with life on planet earth, which in the future time frame of the story may have changed considerably due to environmental pressures.

Background

In the 1970s space colonies were considered to be a viable alternative to a life restricted to planet Earth. The design of cylindrical space colonies, starting with Werner van Braun’s 1954 “Marsprojekt series” and taken to the next step 2 decades later by Gerard O’Neill, would go on to inspire several architectural phenomena here on Earth, from indoor shopping malls and domed football stadiums to Earthbound ecological experiments like Biosphere 2. All along Nasa was a firm believer that in the foreseeable future humanity would begin its expansion into space by launching floating islands into orbit between the Earth and the moon. The space agency’s motivation to finance the development of this initiative was their urgent concern that several global conditions—overpopulation, the greenhouse effect and the potential for a nuclear holocaust—would threaten the survival of Earth and humanity as a whole if we restricted ourselves to being a one-planet species.

Today, Nasa is building a space station on the moon, Richard Branson and Burt Rutan are developing space tourism through Branson’s company Virgin Galactic, and SpacePort Singapore is pushing towards the overall commercialization of space. It can’t be long for the first space colony to be orbiting between the earth and the moon as an extraterrestrial tourist destination where the first generation of earthlings living in space has given birth to the first generation of humans to be born and raised as extraterrestrials.

Conditions on the space habitats will be defined by 24 hour sun exposure, variable gravity and oxygen pressure as well as technological innovation and scientific experimentation that takes advantage of the controlled conditions of the enclosed community.

The first prototypes of architectural settlements for the colony are currently being designed at the University of Applied Arts In Vienna in collaboration with architect Greg Lynn. Although the course is not restricted to a biomorphic agenda, many of the Viennese students have spontaneously adopted an organic vocabulary, which both serves as a reminder of humanity’s biological origins in a completely artificial world, and establishes an otherworldly aesthetic, possibly accentuated by unfamiliar genetically engineered nature.

Students will use the unprecedented social structure and lifestyles within this contained environment as a jumping off point to engage in a discourse about extraterrestrial versus terrestrial existence considering future earth conditions that by this time may have had to address similar issues as the space colony’s protection from radiation and an extreme range of temperatures.

Through the eyes of the story’s extraterrestrial protagonist however, our gravity-bound planet may appear as an amazing experiment in controlled chaos, a jumble of discrepant cultures, and an odd mixture of dated infrastructure and cobbled together technologies to keep it all functioning.

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