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goobster  ·  586 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Visions of future past: NASA's '70s era space colonies

I love that style of illustration. Something about the sharpness of the lines, contrasted with the non-specificity of the details... there are no bolts, or girders, or practical considerations beyond the broad sweep of "a toroidal living space", but the line work is fine, and detailed. I'm not sure how something can be so precise and so general at the same time. Love it.

When I worked for NASA, the hallways were full of this type of conceptual space art, spanning all the way back to the 60's.

My understanding is that NASA had artists working with the scientists. A scientist would come up with a general idea - like a toroidal living space - and speak to the artist about what that might look like. The artist would create the illustration, and it would be used as a tool by the scientists to discuss the practical details. A product visualization, literally.

I have no idea if that is true, or not. Just something I heard from someone when I worked there. But it is a beautiful thought, and it jibes with my understanding of how other scientists work (Pauli, Pauling, Feynman, etc, all had models they played with to visualize if a concept "looked right".)