- A Space Saga exhibition at the Danish Architecture Centre
Sebastian Aristotelis and Karl-Johan Sørensen wanted to find out for themselves whether their theoretical ideas could be of practical use in real life.
The “space-saving” design of LUNARK, appropriate for the hold of a spaceship, is inspired by traditional Japanese origami: it unfolds after landing to increase its volume by 750% and offer 4.5 square metres designed with care to provide enough living space for two people. LUNARK has a rigid glossy black shell of carbon fibre, and “its exterior is tough as a tank while its interior is a cosy home with a sense of Nordic ‘hygge’”, according to the architects’ website. The carbon fibre structure is made of sandwich panels with a foam core for extra insulation.
It contains living organisms such as algae, which convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and offer a rapidly growing source of essential protein, vitamins and minerals.
To withstand the extreme conditions of space and its differences from Earth, the architects of SAGA developed customised circadian light panels immersing the interior of LUNARK in pseudo-natural daylight that accurately emulates the subtle hourly changes in daylight on Earth, because interrupted sleep and out-of-sync circadian rhythms make astronauts lethargic and unproductive. As Sebastian Aristotelis explains: “The synthetic sky inside the habitat was the main contributor to our well-being during the expedition... Waking up to a sunrise inside our sleeping pods was an incredible natural feeling".
The mission was conducted in partnership with researchers investigating various aspects of life on the moon, including the psychological effects of isolation.
The habitat was left in northern Greenland after the trial mission. In the summer of 2021, when weather conditions were less harsh, the habitat was brought home and repaired, and it is now on display at the Danish Architecture Centre until September. “Architects ought to try living in what they are designing, to see whether it works,” is SAGA Space Architects’ conclusion. A statement that doesn’t apply only to the moon!
A Space Saga exhibition
at DAC, Danish Architecture Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
by SAGA Space Architects
12 February through 4 September 2022
More information: https://dac.dk/en/exhibitions/a-space-saga/
Images: Claus Troelsgaard