Space Suit of the Week

Emily Kane has created a conceptual space advocacy group called Project Moon which explores the relationship between space industry and graphic design. The project renders a new visual aesthetic for contemporary manned space exploration. While nodding to the aesthetic and humanistic contributions to the pursuit of space, she lays out the ambiguity of the terrain ahead. The design, detailed in a palette of black, red, and periwinkle, paints out the major contributions of the past and of areas still to be further explored.

Seeing Emily’s work made me begin obsessively considering/scheming what the aesthetic of space exploration will look like in the near future. 2011 was a pretty monumental year for space: the Shuttle era ended, the International Space Station was officially completed, Earth-like planets were uncovered, commercial space exploration took huge strides and the true stellar standout – 2011 marked the 50th anniversary of human space flight. Future of space exploration is undefined and new aesthetic of space exploration is needed.

During the 1970’s and 80’s, NASA used a red logotype nicknamed the “worm”. Richard Danne and Bruce Blackburn created in their words, “a more useful new logotype” as part of the National Endowment of the Arts. It was an effort to design a more modern logo for a space agency that’s forward thinking. Then the Challenger accident happened and the agency was put on hold. In the early 90’s, administrator Daniel Goldin brought back the traditional NASA blue “meatball” with its red chevron and spattering of star in an attempt to herald back to the golden age of space exploration.

Soon manned space travel will not be limited to decorated patriots in uniform flight suits, commercial space exploration is charting new ground, including the aesthetic design of space. Virgin Galatic’s Spaceport America opened this past year; I can’t wait to see what Sir Richard Branson has up his sleeves.

January 6, 2012