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From: Dan Dubrick
To: All
Date: 2003-05-04 18:34:00
Subject: 4\22 ESA - Challenge to European designers:use space to make space

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European Space Agency

Press Release

Challenge to European designers: use space to make space

22 April 2003
 
ESA is challenging European design students to create products
featuring new interior storage concepts by applying 'space methods'
to life here on Earth. 
 
What any spacecraft most lacks is physical space itself. With the
high cost of delivering payload, every cubic centimetre of interior
volume is exploited as efficiently as possible. So astronauts have to
live at extremely close quarters, while engineers are driven to
develop new methods of volume management and storage.

Now the Agency has issued a brief - called 'From Outer Space To Inner
Space - Implications For Innovative Storage Design' - as part of the
2nd DA&D NESTA Joint Product Design and Innovation Awards.

It asks for a product featuring a new storage concept, designed for
any interior, from a room of a home to inside a car. But it must
incorporate techniques, technologies or materials developed for space
or used extensively in it. 
 
This competition is open to undergraduate and postgraduate student
designers across Europe. Three winners will be selected by the Awards
jury in June 2004, and each given funding and encouragement to
develop their ideas.

The Awards are organised jointly by D&AD (Design & Art Direction), an
organisation representing Britain's design and advertising
communities and NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology
and the Arts), a body encouraging innovation in UK science,
technology and the arts.

ESA's brief was set by David Raitt, Senior Officer in ESA's
Technology Transfer Programme: "This is another great opportunity to
show the importance of space technology and materials being made
available to the general public to improve daily life."

Managing space in space presents a challenge. Weightlessness
abolishes 'up' and 'down'. Floors and ceilings become meaningless as
all surfaces are equally accessible. At the same time astronauts
spending long periods in confined spaces require a certain amount of
uncluttered physical space to work and maintain psychological health.

A wide variety of tools and other items must be kept stowed away when
not in use so a distinctive feature of the International Space
Station's interior are modular locker racks or 'soft stowage' bags
set into the walls.

Of increasing importance in space management are designs or materials
that change their shape in orbit, used to achieve large volume
reduction for pre-launch packing. For instance, solar arrays and
antennae begin their journey to orbit folded up along the hull. Once
in orbit these attachments unfurl or extend to full size and
function.

The ESA Awards brief is one of three in this competition. The others
are Conran & Partners for designing cutlery for use with all types of
meals worldwide and Britain's Design Council for redesigning a common
object or service to increase its business potential and decrease its
environmental impact.

For more information on the DA&D NESTA Product Design & Innovation
Awards, and to download the entry form, go to British Design & Art
Direction (D&AD).

The closing date for entries is 26 March 2004.

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