Space Exploration as a Creative Thinking Tool

Out there, you are limitless

Imagine you just woke up in your room, and you are staring at the door. Do you see it as an entrance or an exit? This question might sound silly, because it depends on where you are, but let me tell you a story that changed the way I spend my day, because of this question.

This past summer I organized a design workshop in Tokyo, Japan, where 25 high schoolers and college students, two architects and one geologist came together to design a base on the moon.

We also invited Minecraft experts (middle school kids) to help us visualize the base in 3D

There were many interesting ideas, but one of them was about how your perception of a door can change everything.

As we were designing the base, we realized that the portrayal of the doors can have a significant impact on the purpose of the mission. Your base should not be a “shelter” where you spend your entire day, being protected from outside danger. The whole point of having a base is so that you can go out and explore. It was crucial that the door doesn’t become an entrance to safety, but rather as an exit from which you can go explore the unknown.

Now let’s go back to your dorm room. If you see it as an entrance, then you would gradually design your room so that it is nice and cozy where you spend most of your time. But if you see it as an exit, then your room will become more like your base from which you explore the world. So maybe the interior looks a bit more boring but you might place your necessity close to your door so you are always ready to go out.

Now, when I wake up in the morning, I look forward to opening the door, because for me the door is a gateway for my adventure.

Speaking of interior design, let’s think about how we can redesign our rooms in space. It sounds very fun, but we’ll quickly run into a problem. In a 0-G environment, there’s no ceiling, walls nor a floor. So how and where would we even place your furnitures? Do we even need chairs? If we don’t need chairs, can you create something new to replace them?

Space exploration can be a tool to help us shape the way we live. You don’t have to physically be out there — it can still be your thinking tool to challenge the norm. When you realize this, trust me, you will be amazed at how creative you can be…because out there, you are limitless.