City as a Spaceship
CAAS arose in 2007 as a manifesto written by Susmita Mohanty and Siddharth Das and made its public debut in ‘Volume’ in 2010 as “Mumbai as a Spaceship”. Barbara Imhof joined CAAS in 2012 and translated the CAAS concept into “Spaceship City” for ESA. Soon after, Sue Fairburn joined and CAAS became a zone of confluence forthe three creative frontierswomen.
Susmita, Barbara and Sue have episodically come together over the last 15 years to explore notions of habitability and to generate creative modes of engagement for sharing their perspectives with others. Individually, their backgrounds all depart from Earth – Space Architecture + Habitability Design, Environmental Physiology + Design for Extreme Environments, Spaceship Design + Aerospace Entrepreneurship.
Collectively, their efforts have informed a new genre of (aero)space architecture that takes a multidisciplinary approach to designing future systems. Their outputs include a book [Transcripts of an Architectural Journey], book chapters, feasibility studies, journal articles, public lectures, installations, and more. Supporters of their work have included European Space Agency [ESA], the Austrian Chancellery of Art, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics [AIAA].
CAAS is a new way of thinking about humans and their relationships with their habitats that serves to explore and inform the reciprocities between extra-terrestrial and terrestrial architecture and design to improve future cities. In this view of the universe, the idea of living in the challenging environment of outer space serves as a metaphor for life in modern cities – dense living in confined spaces, closed-loop systems, recycling of resources, energy efficiency and more.
In their most recent confluence, the trio touch down as CAAS @ KHOJ Artist Association in New Delhi for an Art+Science residency;where they continue to generate visions for future habitats as a traveling lab for inspiration and immersive design.