THE IMPORTANCE OF DESIGN IN HELPING HUMANITY BECOME A MULTI-PLANETARY SPECIES
Free (open access)
255 - 263
The United Nations projects that the world population will likely reach 10.9 billion by the end of the century on a planet ill prepared to provide shelter, health care and food and water for its inhabitants. To decrease the planets population, ensure the long-term continuation of our species and the survival of our evolutionary branch, humanity needs to become a multi-planetary species. By going off world to colonize the solar system, the first explorers and the later colonizers will need to inhabit environments designed specifically to preserve their psychological wellbeing. Developing design parameters based on psychological factors will be of paramount importance to help humans deal with long journeys through space, and to create relaxing habitats to help decrease the stress that planetary explorers will be subjected to. The design community needs to become a participant in this process because solely engineered spaces are not enough to develop a good mental and physical quality of life for space exploration. There has been a tendency, with few exceptions, to not include design as an important aspect of the development of the government funded space programs all around the world. It was not until private capital started participating on the field and saw the opportunity to involve the public, that designers were invited to help sell the ideas of space exploration. In the future, the participation of the designer will need to transcend the role of the beautifier and we will need to become involved in all aspects of design that relate to the psychological wellbeing of the explorers. The development of off-planetary architecture will help humanity transition and mentally adapt to foreign environments. We need to understand that off-world habitats will require design that conveys familiarity to aid with our survival and prosperity, but more importantly, to remind us where we came from.
sustainability, multi-planetary species, mars colonization, space exploration, off-planet design, quality of life, mental health