Habitability in Extreme Environment
Habitability and human factors are important determinants for the design of any inhabited building type or human-used object, but in a confined and isolated environment they become especially critical. Living and working in such habitats means being potentially vulnerable to very harsh environmental, social, and psychological, conditions. These constraints result in a very demanding “partnership” between the habitat and the inhabitant – thus opening up a unique research field to investigate the relationship between the built environment and its users.
Challenges of isolated and confined environments include: prolonged isolation and confinement, hostile natural environment, high autonomy of the crew and habitat, life in a multicultural setting (“micro society”), habitat is planned for multiple inhabitants, limited mobility outside the habitat (“to go outside”), understimulation and boredom on long-term missions, etc.
The author uses the term ‘habitability’ as a general term to describe the suitability and value of a built habitat (house or spacecraft) for its inhabitants in a specific environment (Earth or Space) and over a certain period of time; in S. Häuplik-Meusburger, Architecture for Astronauts, page 3
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Publication: Architecture for Astronauts: An Activity-based Approach, 2011
Author: S. Häuplik-Meusburger
Series: Springer Praxis Books
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