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.




  • Aaron Rothman
  • Keith Eggener
  • Barbara Penner
  • Sandy Isenstadt

Aaron Rothman

Aaron Rothman is an artist and writer whose work explores contemporary issues in landscape.

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Keith Eggener

Keith Eggener is a columnist for Places. He is Marion Dean Ross Professor of Architectural History at the University of Oregon.

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Barbara Penner

Barbara Penner is a columnist for Places. She is Senior Lecturer in Architectural History at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

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Sandy Isenstadt

Sandy Isenstadt is a columnist for Places. He is a professor and Director of the Center for Material Culture Studies at the University of Delaware, specializing in the history of modern architecture.

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