TALK: Spaceship Earth: A History of Ecological Designs
Peder Anker (Associate Professor, Gallatin School of Individualized Study / The Environmental Studies Program, New York University)
Thursday, January 20 / 5:00 PM
Why did scientists and laypeople alike in the 1970s talk about the Earth in terms of a Spaceship? And in what way did this frame the environmental design debate? With a point of departure in the famous earthrise image, this lecture reviews the history of “spaceship earth”. The Earth was literally understood as being construed as the spaceship and the environmental havoc was caused by humans not behaving like astronauts. Environmental design and ethics became an issue of trying to live like astronauts by adapting space technologies such as bio-toilets, solar cells, recycling, and energy-saving devices. Spaceships came to represent the rational, orderly, and wisely managed contrast to the irrational, disorderly, and ill managed environments on Earth.
Sponsored by the Architecture and Environment Emphasis of the Department of the History of Art and Architecture as part of the lecture series ‘Moralities in Art and Architecture’. It is co-sponsored by the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, the Institute for Energy Efficiency, Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, and Livingreen, Santa Barbara
Spaceship operating manual