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Three Stars and a Window in Outer Space
(method and metaphor, system and serendipity)
A lecture by Ronald van Tienhoven in the framework of Eindhoven University of Technology’s Studium Generale lecture programme.
April 20, 2011, between 11.45-13.00, TU/e Blauwe Zaal, main auditorium.
The lecture will be in English. Entrance free.
During the Gemini program, launched by NASA in 1958, the astronaut team needed to convince NASA engineers to have a window installed in their spacecraft. Departing from the notion that astronauts were merely instrumental in doing pre-programmed tasks during spaceflights, a window wasn’t considered to be necessary. This conflict symbolizes the gap between utilitarian thinking and design empathy and the psychological consequences of missions in outer space.
In 2006 the European Space Agency (ESA) teamed up with 3-star French chef Alain Ducasse, aiming to develop out-of-this-world cuisine for astronauts on their long-duration spaceflight to Mars and their subsequent stay on the Red Planet. The exquisite menu that followed was based on nine main ingredients that could be grown and harvested by the Mars explorers.
On the one hand there is a universal urge to deploy the arts, design and science in unison. On the other hand there still seems to be a lingering discrepancy that has, admittedly, been bridged considerably between 1958 and 2006, but still needs to gain the necessary momentum in order to become fully effective and meaningful.
This lecture is intended to trigger the discussion about method and metaphor, system and serendipity, and the many opportunities in optimizing anticipatory art & design science.