Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions
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FUTURE OR FANTASY - SPACE TOURISM FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN PROFESSIONS. David Yu-King Wong ARB, RIBA London, United Kingdom. Introduction. Space Tourism is a well versed term to the space community - not so for many traditionally non-space professions.

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Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

FUTURE OR FANTASY - SPACE TOURISM FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN PROFESSIONS.

David Yu-King Wong ARB, RIBA

London, United Kingdom


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Introduction

  • Space Tourism is a well versed term to the space community - not so for many traditionally non-space professions.

  • a lack of communication between the space community and these traditionally earth-bound professions has given rise to many misunderstandings and false expectations.

  • This paper strives to investigate the general opinions of mainstream designers towards the emerging space tourism industry

  • to establish a quantitative basis for assessing the “status quo” of the design profession.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Methodology

  • a survey questionnaire targeting architecture and design professionals

  • 11 questions on the space tourism, space architecture and space in general

  • 4 questions on the background information on the respondents.

  • The survey were primarily conducted electronically through network of architecture professional contacts

  • Physical handouts of the questionnaire at the “Green/Space” seminar during the London Festival of Architecture (June 2010)


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Demography

  • survey sample size = 190

  • survey is primarily aimed at architecture professionals, but it is also open towards the wider design community.

Survey Demography: Age

Survey Demography: Age


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Demography

  • survey sample size = 190

  • survey is primarily aimed at architecture professionals, but it is also open towards the wider design community.

Survey Demography: Professions

Survey Demography: Professions


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Demography

  • survey sample size = 190

  • survey is primarily aimed at architecture professionals, but it is also open towards the wider design community.

Survey Demography: Countries

Survey Demography: Genders


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 1

Do you believe that some people will be living on another planet or in the outer space, for private, recreational or commercial purposes in the future?

Overall Results

[1.00] - Overall

positive responses from the majority of survey participants.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 1

Do you believe that some people will be living on another planet or in the outer space, for private, recreational or commercial purposes in the future?

Age: 18-35

Age: 35-65+

[1.02] - Ageyounger age groups appear to be less optimistic towards the future prospect of space tourism when compared to older age groups.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 1

Do you believe that some people will be living on another planet or in the outer space, for private, recreational or commercial purposes in the future?

Architecture professionals

Other design professionals

[1.03] - Professions

architecture professionals appear to be less optimistic towards the future prospect of space tourism when compared to the other design professionals.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 2

Do you think architecture as a profession should be involved in the design of space habitat / space architecture for outer space and other planets?

Overall Results

[2.00] - Overall

positive responses from the majority of survey participants.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 2

Do you think architecture as a profession should be involved in the design of space habitat / space architecture for outer space and other planets?

Age: 18-35

Age: 35-65+

[2.02] - Age

younger survey participants appear to be slightly less enthusiastic to the idea that architecture as a profession should get involved in the design of space habitat / space architecture.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 2

Do you think architecture as a profession should be involved in the design of space habitat / space architecture for outer space and other planets?

Architecture professionals

Other design professionals

[2.03] - Professions

architecture professionals appear to be slightly less enthusiastic to the idea that architecture as a profession should get involved in the design of space habitat / space architecture.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 3

When do you think space tourism as an emerging industry will become accessible to the general public, as the aviation industry did in the later half of the 20th century?

Overall Results

[3.00] - Overall

there is no consensus among the survey participants on the timescale of when space tourism could become accessible to the general public..


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 3

When do you think space tourism as an emerging industry will become accessible to the general public, as the aviation industry did in the later half of the 20th century?

Architecture professionals

Other design professionals

[3.03] - Professions

Architecture professionals expect a longer time scale on average for space tourism to become accessible to general public, when compared to other professional groups.

A significantly higher percentage of architecture professionals believe that space tourism is not going to become accessible to the general public in foreseeable future.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 3

When do you think space tourism as an emerging industry will become accessible to the general public, as the aviation industry did in the later half of the 20th century?

Male

Female

[3.04] - Genders

Female survey participants expect a longer time scale on average for space tourism to become accessible to general public, when comparing to its male counterparts.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 4

When do you think space tourism as an emerging industry will become accessible to the general public, as the aviation industry did in the later half of the 20th century?

Overall Results

[4.00] - Overall

Over a third of all survey participants express a very strong interest in space and is keen to converge their general interests in space with their professional careers.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 4

When do you think space tourism as an emerging industry will become accessible to the general public, as the aviation industry did in the later half of the 20th century?

UK

US

Europe

Rest of the World

[4.01] - Countries

UK survey participants express a significantly lower level of interest in space on average when compared to survey participants from US and Europe.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 4

When do you think space tourism as an emerging industry will become accessible to the general public, as the aviation industry did in the later half of the 20th century?

Age: 18-35

Age: 35-65+

[4.02] - Age

younger survey participants express a lower level of interest in space on average when compared to those from the older age groups.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 4

When do you think space tourism as an emerging industry will become accessible to the general public, as the aviation industry did in the later half of the 20th century?

Architecture professionals

Other design professionals

[4.03] - Professions

architecture professionals express a significantly lower level of interests in space on average when compared to survey participants from other professional groups.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 5

Please choose one of the following answers which best describes your opinion towards the space tourism industry and its associated services.

Overall Results

[[5.00] - Overall

over two-thirds of survey participants express positive opinions towards space tourism industry and its associated services


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 5

Please choose one of the following answers which best describes your opinion towards the space tourism industry and its associated services.

UK

US

Europe

Rest of the World

[5.01] - Countries

UK survey participants have, on average, expressed a less positive opinion towards space tourism when compared to survey participants from US and Europe.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 5

Please choose one of the following answers which best describes your opinion towards the space tourism industry and its associated services.

Age: 18-35

Age: 35-65+

[5.02] - Age

younger survey participants have, on average, expressed less positive opinion towards space tourism when compared to those from the older age groups.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 5

Please choose one of the following answers which best describes your opinion towards the space tourism industry and its associated services.

Architecture professionals

Other design professionals

[5.03] - Professions

architecture professionals have, on average, expressed a less positive opinion towards space tourism when compared to survey participants from other professional groups.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 5

Please choose one of the following answers which best describes your opinion towards the space tourism industry and its associated services.

Male

Female

[5.04] - Genders

female survey participants have, on average, expressed a slightly less positive opinion towards space tourism when compared to male survey participants.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 6

Please rate the following professional services that you would like to provide to the space tourism industry based on your own interests:

Overall Results

[6.00] - Overall

survey results indicate a broad spectrum of opinions - no majority trend can be established.

survey participants have on average, indicated a lesser interest in project management and system engineering than the more design oriented services.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 6

Please rate the following professional services that you would like to provide to the space tourism industry based on your own interests:

Average of Interest

[6.00] - Overall

survey results indicate a broad spectrum of opinions - no majority trend can be established.

survey participants have on average, indicated a lesser interest in project management and system engineering than the more design oriented services.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 7

Who do you think should act as the "champions" for architects and design professionals for their involvement in the space tourism industry?

Overall Results

[7.00] - Overall

survey results indicate a broad spectrum of opinions - the largest opinion group (national space agencies) represents only a little over a quarter of the total survey responses.

Around half of the survey participants who choose the "other" category believe in multi-lateral efforts instead of relying on a "champion"


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 7

Who do you think should act as the "champions" for architects and design professionals for their involvement in the space tourism industry?

UK

US

Europe

Rest of the World

[7.01] - Countries

marginal differences in opinions between survey participants from UK, US and Europe.

Although not considered to be the prime candidate, UK survey participants have expressed a higher expectation (ranked 3rd in UK) of the professional architecture institutes, of its "champion" role into space tourism than any other countries (ranked 5th in US, 6th in Europe and rest of the world)


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 7

Who do you think should act as the "champions" for architects and design professionals for their involvement in the space tourism industry?

Age: 18-35

Age: 35-65+

[7.02] - Age

younger survey participants are on average, more likely to believe that national space agencies would do more for architects and design professionals than any other groups.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 7

Who do you think should act as the "champions" for architects and design professionals for their involvement in the space tourism industry?

Architecture professionals

Other design professionals

[7.03] - Professions

architecture professionals are more likely to believe that national space agencies would do more for architects and design professionals for their involvement in the space tourism industry than any other groups.

other design professionals tend to believe that the established space architecture community would do more for them instead.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 8

If you were to engage design works in relation to space tourism, from whom would you expect to receive the most useful professional support and guidance?

Overall Results

[8.00] - Overall

Almost half of the total survey participants believe that they will be able to receive the most useful professional support and guidance from the national space agencies.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 8

If you were to engage design works in relation to space tourism, from whom would you expect to receive the most useful professional support and guidance?

UK

US

Europe

Rest of the World

[8.01] - Countries

marginal differences in opinions between survey participants from different countries.

survey participants from Europe tend to believe that they are as likely to receive useful support and professional guidance from the space architecture community as from the national space agencies.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 8

If you were to engage design works in relation to space tourism, from whom would you expect to receive the most useful professional support and guidance?

Age: 18-35

Age: 35-65+

[8.02] - Age

older age groups tend to believe that they are as likely to receive useful support and professional guidance from the space architecture community as from the national space agencies.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 8

If you were to engage design works in relation to space tourism, from whom would you expect to receive the most useful professional support and guidance?

Architecture professionals

Other design professionals

[8.03] - Professions

architecture professionals tend to believe that they are more likely to receive useful professional support and guidance from the national space agencies than any other groups.

architecture professionals as a group do not seem to have much expectation of the professional architecture institutes in providing useful professional support and guidance on the subject.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 8

If you were to engage design works in relation to space tourism, from whom would you expect to receive the most useful professional support and guidance?

Male

Female

[8.04] - Genders

female survey participants tend to believe that they are as likely to receive useful support and professional guidance from the space architecture community as from the national space agencies.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 9

In a hypothetical scenario; an established client of yours (who is not known to be previously engaged with the space tourism industry) asked your company to carry out a 100 man-hour feasibility study on a preliminary space hotel design on a no fee basis. No guarantee was given to the potential opportunity of progressing to the later stages of design. Which of the following answers best describes your likely decision?

Overall Results

[9.00] - Overall

Almost a third of all survey participants indicate that they will consider accepting the design commission without fee.

Another third of all survey participants indicate that they will consider accepting the design commission providing they can get paid at least the bare minimum fee for the work.

Only a minority indicate that they would not consider taking up the commission at all.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 9

In a hypothetical scenario; an established client of yours (who is not known to be previously engaged with the space tourism industry) asked your company to carry out a 100 man-hour feasibility study on a preliminary space hotel design on a no fee basis. No guarantee was given to the potential opportunity of progressing to the later stages of design. Which of the following answers best describes your likely decision?

Architecture professionals

Other design professionals

[9.03] - Professions

architecture professionals are on average less likely to consider accepting the commission without fee than other design professionals.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 10

Based on the same hypothetical scenario set out in the previous question; On the basis of a successful feasibility study, your client would like to offer you / your company an opportunity to follow through to the preliminary space hotel design and develop it in detail, at a fair market fee basis. Which of the following answers best describe your self assessment of job readiness.

Overall Results

[10.00] - Overall

Over half of all survey participants indicate that they are ready, or have plan to acquire essential capacity if necessary, to develop a space hotel design in detail.

Over a third of all survey participants considered themselves not ready and do not know from where to develop the essential know-how.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 10

Based on the same hypothetical scenario set out in the previous question; On the basis of a successful feasibility study, your client would like to offer you / your company an opportunity to follow through to the preliminary space hotel design and develop it in detail, at a fair market fee basis. Which of the following answers best describe your self assessment of job readiness.

UK

US

Europe

Rest of the World

[10.01] - Countries

survey participants from UK are less likely to feel positive about carrying out space related design work compared to those from the US, Europe and the rest of the world.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 10

Based on the same hypothetical scenario set out in the previous question; On the basis of a successful feasibility study, your client would like to offer you / your company an opportunity to follow through to the preliminary space hotel design and develop it in detail, at a fair market fee basis. Which of the following answers best describe your self assessment of job readiness.

Age: 18-35

Age: 35-65+

[10.02] - Age

younger survey participants express a lower level of readiness on average when compared to those from the older age groups.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 10

Based on the same hypothetical scenario set out in the previous question; On the basis of a successful feasibility study, your client would like to offer you / your company an opportunity to follow through to the preliminary space hotel design and develop it in detail, at a fair market fee basis. Which of the following answers best describe your self assessment of job readiness.

Age: 18-35

Age: 35-65+

[10.03] - Professions

while the percentage of "readied" survey participants are similar among different professional groups, a slightly higher percentage of architecture professionals claim to not be interested in space related design work at all.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 11

Please rate the following benefits space architecture might bring to main stream architecture & design profession, based on your opinion to their likelihoods to be realised:

Science and technology spin-offs - space industry will introduce new ways of creating intelligent and environmentally friendly design into the mainstream architecture and design profession.

Intellectual advances - Research in space architecture will challenge established mindsets and expand the vocabularies of existing dialogues of architectural theories and creative thinking.

Inspire new generations - Space architecture can create grand visions and inspirations for the younger generations; demonstrating how unique and far reaching architecture and design can be.

New opportunities - Multi-disciplinary engagement with the space tourism industry will open up many new design opportunities that were previously unknown to architects and design professionals.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Question 11

Please rate the following benefits space architecture might bring to main stream architecture & design profession, based on your opinion to their likelihoods to be realised:

Overall Results

[11.00] - Overall

majority of the survey participants feel positive that space architecture can bring the benefits listed above to main stream architecture and design professions.

opinions towards all four benefits are fairly even - no majority trend can be established.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Summary - overall

  • Survey results indicate an overall receptive opinion towards space and a positive interest in the emerging space tourism industry.

  • A general consensus that the development of space architecture could bring many benefits to the mainstream architecture and design professions.

  • Uncertainty over how to get involved and how to take advantage of the potential new opportunities offered by the space tourism.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Summary – young age groups (aged 18-35)

  • Tend to be less enthusiastic about space and more sceptical of the benefits space tourism might bring.

  • Have higher expectation of the national space agencies.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Summary – architecture professionals

  • Tend to be less enthusiastic about space, and have a slightly higher level of negative opinions towards space tourism.

  • Have higher expectation of the national space agencies

  • Tend to be more conservative and adopt a realistic approach towards speculative space related works.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Summary – professional architecture institutes

  • Among the least expected to champion the cause for the architecture and design professions to engage with the emerging space tourism industry.

  • Architecture professionals also do not seem to have any higher expectation on the professional institutes when compared to those from non architecture background.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Summary – genders

  • Both genders share similar opinions on the more generic questions about space and getting involved with space tourism.

  • Female survey participants tend to be more sceptical on specific questions such as timescale, its interest in particular professional services, or the benefits space tourism might bring etc.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Summary – countries of origins

  • Survey participants from United Kingdom have on average, expressed a significantly lower level of interest in space, more sceptical towards the emerging space tourism industry and are lesslikely to feel positive about carrying out space related design work.

  • a slightly higher expectation towards the professional architecture institutes (ranked 3rd in UK) than any other countries (ranked 5th for US, 6th for Europe and rest of the world)


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Conclusion

In summary, the survey has achieved its primary goal of giving an illustrative account of the status quo between the space sector and the mainstream architecture & design professions.

The survey results have galvanised the idea that more interactions between the traditional design disciplines and the space sector could be mutually beneficial.

The findings from the survey analysis could provide new ground of debates on how to make the most out of the cross-disciplinary exchanges between the space sector and the traditional architecture & design professions.


Future or fantasy space tourism from the perspective of architecture and design professions

Conclusion

While the survey analysis have revealed many key trends of opinions in the earlier section of this paper, the survey was designed to be indicative only and was intended to be a mean to encourage new dialogues for discussions, rather than providing any specific direction or recommendation on the subject - the latter would require a significantly bigger survey sample and a more comprehensive set of survey questions & analysis to identify specific field of interests where cross-disciplinary interactions could bring mutual benefits to the respective professions.


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