MacIntosh, Reggie Wade
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This thesis proposes the design of a space exploration vessel capable of sustaining a community of 2000 inhabitants that will leave Earth and never return. The unique mission criteria will allow for the in depth study of fundamental architectural issues such as confinement, permanence, habitability, and wellbeing. The vessel, named Horizon, will address the social, cultural, and environmental systems necessary for maintaining a platform for an evolving community. Emphasis throughout the thesis will be placed on the human condition and social systems rather than technical details and specifications of the ship’s construction. A human settlement travelling through the void of space and severing its ties with Earth creates an intense design challenge. How can architecture create a stimulating and humane environment without a traditional sense of site or any of the Earthly conditions that can influence memory, stimulate growth, and sustain culture? The final presentation of the thesis will take the form of an illustrated narrative. This form of representation will allow for the blending of fact and fiction, producing a narrative in the tradition of science fiction that will explore the architectural implications of giving shape to a finite environment and its impact on the complex and ever changing lives of the inhabitants over successive generations. This thesis examines the implications and limitations of space travel but also casts light on our terrestrial understanding of the roots of architectural thinking.