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
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, Director's Office, MIT
Ulisses Meneses, Space for Humanity
Andreas Hein, Initiative for Interstellar Studies
Dan Fries, Initiative for Interstellar Studies
Pierros Papadeas, LibreSpace
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
Sam Bompas, Bompas & Parr Studio
Since the early 1900’s, Hollywood has been stirring the imaginations of film goers, creating journeys to the stars and beyond. Sometimes, Hollywood found itself being surprisingly prescient. Other times, they were spectacularly, and beautifully, wrong. Reality is never a limitation. We’ll take a look at the evolution of these spaceships and see how they are intertwined with the evolving, real technology of spaceflight. Ever wonder how Hollywood came up with some of those designs in shows like “Star Wars,” “Star Trek,” and “2001”?* Join us for an in-depth look at the techniques used by Hollywood’s visual effects teams as they journey to outer space. (*Hint: it involved sniffing a lot of model glue and playing with models.)
Gene Kozicki, Visual Effects Production Manager and Model Builder
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, PhD student & Sci Fab Class Instructor, MIT Media Lab
This workshop will explore human body movement in microgravity. The workshop leaders will discuss mathematical models of the body and how the interplay between angular momentum and the body's changing moment of inertia tensor result in un-intuitive, yet predictable changes in the angular velocity vector. Adam Dipert (circus performer and physicist) has been on the Zero G Corp plane twice to test his theories on weightless movement (video will be shown). Dan Levine is a practicing gymnast and will explore concepts of what gymnastics and gymnastics equipment could look like in space. This workshop will offer time for participants to experiment with guided embodied movement in ways which relate to microgravity movement training.
Adam Dipert, Arizona State University
Kitsou Dubois, Artistic Director, Ki Productions
Daniel Levine, MIT Media Lab