Space, Architecture, and Science Fiction

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  • Title: Space, Architecture, and Science Fiction: An Architectural Interpretation of Space Colonization
  • Author(s): Salih Ceylan
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Constructed Environment
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of the Constructed Environment
  • Keywords: Space Architecture, Space Settlements, Architectural Design
  • Volume: 9
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 2154-8587 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2154-8595 (Online)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Ceylan, Salih . 2018. "Space, Architecture, and Science Fiction: An Architectural Interpretation of Space Colonization." The International Journal of the Constructed Environment 9 (2): 1-17. doi:10.18848/2154-8587/CGP/v09i02/1-17.
  • Extent: 17 pages


Expanding its living zone and territories has been a source of motivation for mankind since the beginning of its existence. Most scientific work throughout history has been for learning new things and revealing the unknown for human beings. The idea of living in outer space—a prominent phenomenon—has been an inspiration not only for many science-fiction works, but also for scientific efforts to design space colonies, an emerging trend in the last few decades. These ideas, having first occurred as fantasies unrelated with reality, became more realistic over time with the aid of improvements in science and technology. Indeed, today there are theoretical models generating possibilities of building an actual station for a colony in space. No matter if in the far or remote future, space colonization appears to be an inevitable step in the evolution of mankind. In this article, the questions to be considered about building space colonies are interpreted based on scientific work and contemporary science fiction products from an architectural point of view. When a space colony is considered in terms of shape, it is necessary to compose an axial formation spinning around a central axis. The most appropriate versions of this formation are the sphere, cylinder, and torus. Realistic and scientific space colony designs executed in past have all been based on these shapes. But living in outer space brings up a number of different issues and questions besides shape. Some of these important questions include: gravity, atmosphere, cosmic radiation, energy, sustainability, and positioning. There are also humanistic issues such as the psychological and social needs of colonists. In addition, from an architectural perspective, space colonization must be interpreted in different categories such as regional planning, transportation, infrastructure, civil architecture, and individualization. Space colonization offers an important alternative living habitat for humanity; however, the number of studies on this subject has to increase and include contributions from different disciplines that provide alternative perspectives and approaches. In this regard, it is important to compose an architectural interpretation of space colonization, as it provides a possibility of intercepting a new way of thinking about this important subject.