#57 | arc07 – First rough sketch and explanation of the concept

Hi guys!

For the theory, I’ve got everything I need and I know where I’m going: the methodology is right here and I’ve only needed to follow the logical process. However, more I’m progressing on my work, more I’m feeling lost in the practice. A professor advised me to try sketching in parallel with the theory for now, just putting my ideas on paper even if it is “bad”, that will help me in the creation process but to be honest the only “real” illustration from my imagination I’ve managed to draw within these months is this one: #47. I am a bit blocked with my creativity and one of the reasons is the “my drawing is bad and ugly” or “It’s not possible to build something like that” (self-believing is a bit down?). Anyway, here is my daily contribution for today, hopefully, it is in not as bad as I thought but it is only a sketch…


fig.01 – Trying to create the concept of intimacy and transparency for the spatial configuration. I write on the left page everything makes me feel comfortable in an interior. The shape of the plan is based on the picture below. On the right page, It is the view I would like to be able to make: opacity inside and transparency outside (however I need to remember the real issue is cosmic radiation from the sun, so I need to find another way than ice for the materials. It would be nice to have an open panoramic view to the outside (and framing the view). Plants can make a better place for a point of connection with “Earth nature”, it will be interesting since you’ll be far from home.

I’m still looking for the reason why the habitats are mainly in a dome shape and find that it is for technical purpose. Since 3D printing is possible, I guess I will be a bit more free on the outside shell of the habitat. For the materials, Kevlar will be used for the material resistance, but it is still not on what I’ll focus on right now. I have built the inside in an easy polygon shape (cube) since It is the best way to be able to structure the tri-dimensional space and modulate the inside with smaller volumes (best way compared to the dome).

The idea is to build three areas:
– the inside (opacity) will be for the rooms and intimacy purpose.
– the intermediate area (opacity + transparency) will be a mixed function area with functional rest area with plants and gardens (living area, dining room).
– The outside area (transparency) will be workplaces, it will be far from the rest place to make sure to avoid disturbance by unwanted noises and proximity.

Colors can be useful too for psychological purpose and separating the functions. The issue inside ISS and other simulation missions is the lack of colors. The impact of colors on a human is really important. “Cold” colors like blue, green, cold purple can be useful for calming someone mindset and yellow, reddish colors to give a more active function to a room.

fig.02 – In these pages, it is a functional programming explaining why I choose to use a more polygonal inside.

Aldo Rossi, an architect known to have built again some parts of Berlin after WWII, has written in one of his manifesto about “Artifacts”: “The analogue city”. These Artifacts are the cultural “checkpoints” like churches, or important cultural buildings or spaces still existing in the city and giving to Berlin its identity. In fact, these buildings and urban spaces structure the city and make the identity of each city inside the collective memory (our mental maps). In a way,”Time” gives a city its identity.

That kind of concept can be read in Jean Cousin’s book: “l’Espace Vivant” but on a smaller scale. Objects don’t structure the space, but help to build our personal space. The “Bubble” will adapt to the room: if we know a volume, we will expand our identity to outside and if we are in an unknown space, our “Bubble” will be smaller. In this book, “Objects” can be referred as “Artefacts” since it is the same principle of “Gestalt”, a German word for “Shape”.

“Gestalt” is a way to understand our spatial perception: when you see 4 apples, you tend to see the group of apples and not one individual apple at a time. The same principle can be applied on a larger scale. It can be observed for example when you are in a new place and expand your stuff over time when you get used to it. That can also explain why the Mars mission simulation didn’t work well since the area is good for a short mission but not good for long ones: personal spaces tend to grow over time and it will be hard to live in a lack of personal space. That can lead to disturb social clock (Time schedule of works =/= biological clock). In Jean Cousin’s book, the personal space can be improved with a structural place, and that’s why modulable interior can be a great asset for spatial improvement. That’s why an inside would have been better if it’s a square or polygonal volumes, easier to modulate.

Eventually, the dome can be useful for psychology since it gives a perception of freedom and infinite movement like a circular circulation. It is better to use that kind of circulation to a rest area and places like leisure areas… The point is to use the types of shapes together and making a personal place for every member. Each member from a long-duration mission can appropriate the space for him/herself if they can be related to the structure of where they live. In fact, personal objects can also bring a personal appropriation of the space but architects can too give a proper solution without “playing” with objects but with space itself.


What did I learn?

  • Trying to break the artblock with a little concept sketch.
  • What is the purpose of a dome shape.
  • Some architecture concepts working on the Mars long-duration mission.
  • A bit more about “Zome” shape.

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