Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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S.E.ARCH: Science Fiction and Extraterrestrial Architecture

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Version 2 2023-03-14, 02:48
Version 1 2021-12-08, 23:16
posted on 2023-03-14, 02:48 authored by Shum, KaiMei

Until this point in time, space architecture has relied heavily on engineering - resulting in little room for artistic practice. The resulting habitats are ill-equipped to sustain the quality of life required for long-term or interplanetary missions. However, rapid technological growth is beginning to enable the realisation of outer space for commercial enterprise, scientific gain, and personal exploration. Together, a budding space industry and the profession of space architecture are set to lead each other, hand-in-hand, into a new age of space exploration - and to destinations never before reached.  For almost as long as human culture has remembered we have been fascinated by the stars. A potent result of this fascination is science fiction and stories concerning space travel. A strong and tangible assemblage has formed between science fiction, social narrative, and outer space. Science fiction can make concepts of the future understandable. It can make communities focused on the future.  This thesis proposes that the discipline of architecture, with the help of popular science fiction, can re-imagine space architecture. It seeks to create empathy with the future inhabitants of outer space by envisaging the space industry of the future, and through the creation of a passenger ship it develops a hope for a future that unfolds differently to what we are planning for now.   This research seeks to investigate these connections in order to create safer and more fulfilling homes for spacefarers of the future. It does so by arguing against the typology we maintain. Through iterative designs which coincide with research on the use of science fiction and habitability in space, it concludes with a new ship typology.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Master of Architecture (Professional)

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Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture


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