Architecture students from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in Los Angeles, USA are currently undertaking a year-long project funded by NASA to build a vertical habitat for astronauts. The exploration, research and experimentation study, which is the result of a new partnership between NASA and the school, involves the students designing and building a vertical facility which could potentially house four astronauts for 60 days in deep space.
Cameron Jacobson, a fifth-year architecture student working on the project, told the Poly Post: “They [NASA] want to get an architect’s point of view of how spaces are designed. So, if you give it to an engineer; they’re going to design it totally different. It’s just the way we think versus how they do.”
The experimental structure designed by the students is currently housed outside the Interim Design Centre at the university and spans 30ft, with the students commenting that the design represented new challenges as there was no particular vertical orientation within the project. As a result of the study, some architecture students from the university have been selected to carry out internships at NASA with the possibility that the design of the vertical habitat may be patented, opening up new possibilities for space design in the future.