With this insight, we are launching the “Voices from the School of Disruption” column on how disruptive innovation can change our views of the world, and consequently the way we act in it.
Dr. Ester Mussari is a P.hD. in architecture. During her academic studies, she took the Space Architecture & Design course at the School of Disruption. As a result, she was able to design one of her courses about Space Architecture, from which several students’ projects were born.
from Dr. Ester Mussari, P.hD.
I am a Ph.D. in architecture and design. I like to describe myself as a person “with the feet on the ground and the nose up” …but I can’t stay too much with my feet on the ground!
After investigating the relationship between people and their domestic space, my research focused on the psychophysical well-being of residents in confined spaces for a long time. But we were in a pandemic. On social media, they were talking more and more about space tourism, but after that terrible experience, I wondered how sustainable it was for people to live in similar (or more extreme) situations: how could house let inhabitants feel at home?!
To “stumble” in Space Design and Architecture course was the turning point: it allowed me to put together acquired knowledge and skills and catapult them into orbit, making the idea multidisciplinary, ambitious and exciting.
At the same time, it was opening the degree course in Design at the University of Reggio Calabria, where I was a tutor, and where the interest in engineering for the aerospace industry is very strong. We decided, together with my research tutor (Alberto de Capua), to administer space design pills and build an academic course. That was great!
The result is that students have changed their perspective: we often take for granted everyday issues, but if we put them upside down everything changes. Imagine: how you can play cards in microgravity!?
I am currently proceeding with my studies because the issue is really important from my point of view. I firmly believe that we should invest consciously in this field of research, which is still little recognized but is at the basis of civil society: dwelling is a right, as it is to feel at home in space and time. This should do the design.
Design generates visions. It is interested in people’s future, about their well-being. Also, it takes care of their dreams: for decades we talked about inhabiting other planets, but until today it has been allowed only to highly trained military. What would happen if a family really went to Mars? How would everyday life be like, for months, years, in a space capsule? What would it mean to grow up into a different gravitational force? Well, the design that I pursue deals with these questions, and it’s multidisciplinary. I am interested in studying how to make space habitable, and how to make it suitable for people of all cultures, skills, and habits.