Space Suit of the Week

In the near vacuum of space, the movement of space suits is dangerous and can compromise the protection they offer. If a space suit were to lose pressure in space, the astronaut would pass out in the time it takes for oxygen-depleted blood to circulate from the lungs to the brain: about fourteen seconds. It’s clear that enormous amounts of engineering goes into making space suits as safe as possible but also as bendable as can be. In short it’s a challenge for NASA and not project runway.

Or is it?

Ted Southern knows.  He’s an artist living in New York City, who used to make wings for Victoria’s Secret, but as moved on to making gloves for space suits. In fact, Ted won second place in the 2009 Astronaut Glove Challenge alongside his scientific partner Nikolay Moiseev (a specialist in space suits). Together they are Final Frontier Design, and resident artists at the eyebeam art and technology center in New York developing a full space suit.

Ted says this about the relationship between art and science: ” I have always felt the two fields share a lot, and I find my process as a scientist/engineer is not different from that as of sculptor. As an artist, I have always experimented with different materials, designed things to operate and function, and often tried to build for the human body.  Science is a process, a method of thinking, and often artists are required to think scientifically.  I think real innovation is often hampered by strict methodology.”


P.S. Ted also designed Heidi Klum’s 2008 Halloween Costume. I especially like the skirt made out of… gloves.

August 13, 2010