The Future

Differentiator

Western Michigan University is the only place that majors in e-sport, e-interior design and designing for space travel, online teaching, engineering for space travel, sustaining.

Features

  • Students get jobs in designing for all aspects of virtual reality, e-gaming, sustainability, space engineering, etc.
  • Focus the study of history to inform for a future.

Benefits

I was inspired by the following article an alum sent me: Interior design might keep astronauts healthier and happier in deep space.

Hanging out in a tin can in a vast vacuum is stressful, but interior design can help

By Loren Grush@lorengrush  Feb 1, 2019, 12:42pm EST
NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg looking out of the space station’s cupola. Image: NASA
When it comes to building the interior of a spacecraft, engineers often prioritize function over aesthetics, focusing on materials and hardware that are both safe and effective for executing the vehicle’s intended mission. But some scientists say it’s time to consider another crucial factor when designing a spacecraft’s insides: how it will affect the behavior of the passengers?

For astronauts traveling vast distances — perhaps on a trip to Mars — the design of a spacecraft’s interior could be a critical tool for keeping people happy and healthy during the journey. Room will likely be limited on any vehicle we send to the Red Planet; getting massive objects into space takes a lot of energy and money, so the interiors on these transports could be tight. And passengers will be stuck with the same group of people for the entire ride — a trip that could take years to complete. All of those conditions could create a nightmare scenario for a person’s psychological health, causing stress, bad sleep schedules, depression, and other negative feelings that might affect their time in space.

THE DESIGN OF A SPACECRAFT’S INTERIOR COULD BE A CRITICAL TOOL FOR KEEPING PEOPLE HAPPY

That’s why a new workshop next week plans to address this often-overlooked aspect of space travel. Called Space^2, the event will bring together astronauts, health professionals, and design experts in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to discuss what types of technologies and hardware deep space missions can include inside their spacecraft to make interplanetary journeys a more enjoyable experience. Up until now, astronauts have mostly experienced short trips to space, usually lasting less than a year. Because of this, spacecraft interiors have revolved around optimizing volume and less on giving people peace of mind. And some experts say that needs to change.

“Not much has been done in terms of the design and interior of the spacecraft,” Dorit Donoviel, director for the Translational Research Institute for Space Health and one of the conference organizers, tells The Verge. “It’s really about where they want to place their levers, their displays, what kind of materials they’ll use in terms of preventing bacterial growth. I don’t think there’s been too much emphasis on the behavioral or really the human side of some of these interior environments.”"