COSMIC SPACE AS A KEY FOR CREATIVE DESIGN HOW INDUSTRIAL DESIGN IN COSMIC SPACE IS USEFUL TO EXEMPLIFY AN INNOVATIVE METHODOLOGY FOR DESIGN PROCESS IN EDUCATION

A. Dominoni

Politecnico di Milano (ITALY)
This paper takes advantage to the experience of the author in design for space (with the meaning of cosmic space) working for astronauts with the aim to improve the comfort and the wellbeing of the crew onboard the International Space Station. The cosmic space has two specific peculiarities that determines the nature of the design approach: the confined environment and the microgravity conditions.
Industrial design is fundamental for human space programs because is dedicated to understand environment requirements and users and their needs, to find innovative solutions for product, equipments and tools to make easier human performance onboard and to increase living and working in space in comfortable and efficiently way.
Space exploration is a challenge that brings out humankind’s pioneer spirit and its ability to find new solution. Human beings are pioneers dedicated to scientific and technological research, seeking to make this collective dream of the world come true. This reason is a extraordinary opportunity to involve the students to participate in a design process that consider a context completely new as the cosmic space which foresees the possibility to explore the reality with others point of views and with different relations between the environment and the human being.
The task of industrial design in cosmic space is to facilitate human movement and activities foreseeing new ways of using tools and new gestures in relation to the extraordinary conditions of the environment. The “design of use and gesture” proposed from the author is one of the greatest difference between designing for earth projects and for space projects lies in a great attention that must be paid to human movement, to design in compliance with use and gestures, together with the design of object itself, which must be based on forecast use and on the simulation of the results.
This study intends to demonstrate that some strategies which belong to the industrial design for cosmic space can be transferred into a new design methodology for education sharing with students the principles that produce a “good design” considering parameters which are so far to the normal context that we are living on earth.