The Shape of Space

In the 1970s, NASA brought together scientists, planners, architects, and designers to refine and visualize proposals for orbital space habitats. Their extraordinary renderings placed an emphasis on the unnatural scale and perspective geometries of these new forms. Reading these images alongside works of architectural history, science fiction, and philosophy can help us find a new language for talking about environmental conditions on and off our home planet.

What the orbital space habitats designed for NASA in 1975 can teach us about living in new geometries.




  • Naomi Stead
  • Belmont Freeman
  • Simon Sadler

Gabrielle Esperdy

Gabrielle Esperdy is a columnist for Places. She is associate professor of architecture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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Naomi Stead

Naomi Stead is a columnist for Places. She is an architecture critic and a professor of architecture at Monash University.

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Belmont Freeman

Belmont Freeman is a columnist for Places. He is principal of Belmont Freeman Architects, an award-winning design firm in New York City.

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Simon Sadler

Simon Sadler is a columnist for Places. He teaches the history and theory of architecture, design, and urbanism across several programs at the University of California, Davis, where he is a professor in the Department of Design.

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