Social AI Design


California Spaceports

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what i did


Stuart Witt describes the Mojave Air and Space Port as an “unrestricted dream space”. This idea can be generalized to spaceports across the United States and represents a physical manifestation of projected futures. While Witt theorizes an unrestricted dream space, in reality, the logistical and socio-economic challenges of operating spaceports render them restricted with respect to their surrounding communities.

In our examination of the “new space” industries in Southern California, I was moved by the community of Mojave, CA. Driving and walking around the town revealed a desolate and struggling community. My primary interest was to look at the economic differences between the Mojave Air and Spaceport and its surrounding community. I continued to research and saw significant economic, and lifestyle differences between the residents of the city of Mojave and Mojave Air and Spaceport’s commercial tenants. 

I then examined other types of ports in Los Angeles and looked at economic situations in their surrounding communities.

For many, commercial spaceports represent a projection of an idealized future. But the current reality is that many spaceports are still struggling commercially and are generally housed in remote, lower income areas.

Here is our final spaceport research exploration. 

Mojave Air and Spaceport  

Mojave Air and Spaceport  

Ports are used to define our spatial
relationship to a location.

Design Research Process

In my research I concluded that there were quite a few similarities between ports. I referenced research by James Bird and Brian Hoyle, whose work explores the nature of port interfaces. From this research I extrapolated some basic points across point industries and generalized those to Spaceports.