WHAT IS “SPACE ARCHITECTURE” DESIGN?

It seems a rather poignant question for the very first post of any blog about “Space Architecture”:

What is it?

Space_Station_Freedom_with_Shuttle

 

If an Architect were to ask a random someone what they think it is, many people may be quick to assume that Space Architects simply take space stations and other space “stuff”, pile it together, and re-arrange it to “look pretty”… and who could blame someone for giving such a terse answer?  After all, that is what Architects accomplish on Earth, isn’t it?

If someone is lucky, they may get a habitual “Googler” instead, and their answer would look like:

“(T)he theory and practice of designing and building inhabited environments in outer space.” – Wikipedia

Better… but not quite the truth either.  There is much more to “design” after all than simply making something “look pretty”.  Before diving in to what Architecture in space tries to accomplish, perhaps it would be a good idea to first understand what Architecture attempts to accomplish here on Earth.