Senses as Drivers for Space Habitats Design in Microgravity



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50th International Conference on Environmental Systems


Moving into off-planet environments require different approaches to design, mainly due to the fundamental physical changes astronauts perceive through their senses. Indeed, adjustments to off-planet conditions have important psychological and physiological implications and it cannot be presumed to be directly transferable from terrestrial habitat design. This paper focuses on microgravity environments and studies evidence reports and other documents on human performance in space in order to have a concise overview of the effect of space conditions and weightlessness. The study of the senses that affects health and comfort highlights the importance of changes in the perception of space, vestibular system, and proprioception. On top of that, it also demonstrates the importance of subjective perception. This paper then connects these studies with established architectural design methods such as the use of colours, spatial layout, and haptic surfaces resulting in a set of specific design responses for microgravity habitats. These suggestions and the follow up guidelines could enable the development of habitats that enhance astronauts� adjustment to microgravity environments and overall comfort.


Monika Brandi? Lipi?ska, Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment, Newcastle University
Layla van Ellen, Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment, Newcastle University
Volker Damann, International Space University
ICES502: Space Architecture
The 50th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held virtually on 12 July 2021 through 14 July 2021.


human senses, sensory design, space architecture, microgravity, perception, design guidelines