This workshop will explore human body movement in microgravity. The workshop leaders come from backgrounds in dance, gymnastics, circus, and the sciences. Adam Dipert, circus performer and physicist, has been on the Zero G Corp plane twice to test his mathematical and physical theories on weightless movement and will share video from his research. French dancer and choreographer Kitsou Dubois is the foremost expert on human body movement and perception in the zero gravity environment. She began her work in this subject in 1990, has been on 21 parabolic flights, and has worked with NASA and CNES. Dan Levine, MIT Media Lab student and gymnast, will explore concepts of what gymnastics and gymnastics equipment could look like in space. This workshop will begin with lecture-style descriptions of each workshop leader's work, and include time for participants to experiment with guided, embodied movement in ways that relate to microgravity movement training.
Adam Dipert, Arizona State University
Kitsou Dubois, Artistic Director, Ki Productions
Daniel Levine, MIT Media Lab
When we think about our future in space, we frequently think about the big parts: launchpads, rockets, huge rotating space hotels. But the human scale and experience of space will be much different: up close, and every day, human life will contend with a different environment, and a different material culture will result. The objects that will be found laying (floating) around our rooms will be sculpted by very different priorities and assumptions. We have already witnessed the beginning of this set of design constraints, from velcro on everything, to food packaging, to the “unique” toilet requirements. What will our everyday objects and devices look like when we live in space? Come be a part of designing visions of this future!
Sands Fish, Space Exploration Initiative
Lizbeth B. De La Torre, Graduate Research Assistant, MIT Media Lab
On Earth, physical or cognitive differences ("disabilities") are considered by many to be hindrances. As we venture farther away from our planet, however, where familiar environmental forces lose their hold, a new lens with which to recontextualize these differences is offered. For example - could a heart defect allow for oxygen deprivation? In this workshop, we will discuss the notion of 'disabilities' on Earth as hyper-abilities in space - attributes which enable an individual to transcend the operations of a physically- or neuro-typical person. Beyond this, we will also address what a culture of inclusion regarding neurological/physical differences could look like in a space-centered future.
Avery Normandin, MIT Media Lab
Chille Bergstrom, Space Futurist
Can humans have children in space? Will we develop the same in microgravity as we do on Earth? So far, studies performed on astronauts that return from extended periods of time in space show alterations in their physiology from their muscle strength down to epigenetic changes in their DNA. In this workshop we will discuss how to test the feasibility of mammalian reproduction in space, and how microgravity might affect the development of different tissues, like bone and muscle, potentially limiting the future homes of native-born space-farers. Furthermore, human civilizations have developed only on one planet: Earth, though a vast array of cultures have developed in the different environments from the arctic to the tropics. Would native space-farers feel any connection to the cultures of Earth or other planetary bodies? If we can overcome these potential barriers to human development—could we create a new cradle of civilization beyond our planet?
Kaitlyn Sadtler, Postdoctoral Associate, MIT
Liz George, Director's Fellow, MIT Media Lab
Moshe Szyf, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, McGill University
The public “grand-opening” of space draws near. Much as biology has witnessed an explosion of DIY bio-hacking in recent years, the dropping costs of space launches and cubesats enable a new mode of engagement in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and beyond. What was once an exclusive, expensive, and narrowly serious pursuit is now evolving to include a vast array of possibilities. New ventures in space will impact everyday life on Earth, unifying us independent of boundaries, cultures, and economies, while also posing pressing ethical and socio-political challenges. Come learn how four cutting edge, open access groups are making space accessible and transforming what engagement looks like—potentially for millions of people—through the reach of DIY instruments, experiments, sensors, rockets, satellites, and ultimately through a new age of space exploration.
Andre Uhl, Council on Extended Intelligence
Dan Fries, Institute for Interstellar Studies-US
Rachel Lyons, Space for Humanity
Pierros Papadeas, Libre Space Foundation
Mads Stenfatt, Copenhagen Suborbitals
The human desire of exploring new worlds enabled architects to think of a new design challenge: Space Architecture. From Lunar colonies to Martian ones, the current generation of architects is envisioning the future of human space exploration through computational design, extra-terrestrial native materials, and robotic construction. Join leading architects to hear about their research and imagine your future space home! Workshop will include an open conversation and design session with the audience.
Valentina Sumini, PhD & Postdoctoral Associate, MIT Media Lab
Daniel Inocente, Senior Architectural Designer, Skidmore Owings & Merrill
Georgi Petrov, Associate Director, Skidmore Owings & Merrill
Melodie Yashar, Space Architect, SEArch+ Space Exploration Architecture
As humans move beyond our natal planet, how will we shape and adapt to new environments? How can we create regenerative life support systems to help us live off the land? How can we develop technologies that are relevant for both Earth and interplanetary exploration? Biotechnology offers unique solutions to essential aspects of life support that can promote a more sustainable economy on Earth. Join us for a practical and provocative discussion of the possibilities of encouraging human, plant, and microbial life off Earth as we begin to plan long-term, deep space exploration.
Shannon Nangle, Postdoctoral Associate, Silver Lab, Harvard Medical School
J.J. Hastings, Extremophile, Analogue Astronaut, Materials Scientist + Director of Alpha Space
As we enter a new age of space exploration and space tourism, we bring with us our habits, rituals, and addictions. To date, space food has focused primarily on meeting our nutritional needs. This will likely change over the coming decades given our increasing understanding of food and emotional states. From our morning coffee to evening glass of wine, sugar filled treats and spice cabinets, all food is psychoactive. It changes our mood and brain activity. How can we leverage the psychoactive effects of food to create new experiences in space? If we were to design an edible supernatural experience, what would the properties be? How would it be socialized?
Maggie Coblentz, Space Sensory Experience Researcher, MIT Media Lab
Emilie Baltz, Food Artist
To become an interplanetary species, humans must develop novel solutions for optimal functioning in challenging environments. Apart from the physical adaptations necessary, cognitive augmentation will be a crucial as well. With the advancement of novel brain and body sensors and stimulation techniques, future wearable technology will be able to closely monitor cognitive state and intervene to enhance cognitive functions. In the workshop, we will present some of the research of the Media Lab's Fluid Interfaces group on devices that enhance attention, memory, and wellbeing, and will brainstorm novel forms of human-machine symbiosis for future space explorers.
Pat Pataranutaporn, MIT Media Lab
Mina Khan, MIT Media Lab
Pattie Maes, MIT Media Lab
Caitlin Moris, MIT Media Lab
Jess Rais, MIT Media Lab
Games are a uniquely human endeavour, reducing stress and supporting mental wellbeing. Astronauts aboard the ISS have created their own games using materials at hand and pure creativity. What if we could create games for them that take particular advantage of aspects of space—such as microgravity—and would help keep astronauts mentally engaged, socially connected, and physically relaxed? Promising projects from this workshop may have the opportunity to be tested on the Media Lab’s next zero g flight! Let’s play!
Dan Novy, Postdoctoral Researcher & Sci Fab Class Instructor, MIT Media Lab
Sam Liberty, Northeastern