• View of the exhibition "Homo Spatius", Cité du design, Saint-Étienne, 2021

Exhibition, 3 Nov 2021 - 30 Jan 2022

Homo Spatius

Cité du Design, Saint-Étienne, France

The tracks of the rovers' wheels on the Moon and on Mars follow Neil Armstrong's footprint. They refer to the footprints of men in the Magdalenian caves and remind us that, dreaming of elsewhere, curiosity or territorial ambition, human beings have never ceased to spread out over ever more varied biotopes and to develop knowledge and tools for this purpose. Without speaking of a prehistory of design, prehistoric tools reveal themselves to be perfect in their functional form, complex in their elaboration, mastered in the quality of the material and undeniably aesthetic. The exhibition explores the intersections of these two epics, space exploration and design, which feed each other with periods of greater intensity. The changeover to modern times thus gives rise to a profusion of adventurous astronomers, literary scientists, and inventor craftsmen. There are built a collective desire, which inherits from the still recent exploits of the maritime sector, a standard of the forms and the images, and an exploration of the universe, which prepares the voyage and leads to the great space observatories 2 current. From then on, literature, cinema, amusement parks will be effective vectors of support to the human aspirations towards space. The design inscribes its obvious mark in the question of the habitat, whether it is spatial or terrestrial. During the space-age, architects will consider new urban utopias, connected, ephemeral or floating. In the atmosphere of optimism generated by recent space prowess, designers' forms are liberated by the appearance of new materials. Finally, the present decade brings a double impulse: preparation of the durable and extended installation of man in orbit, but also on the Moon and Mars, and return of space to the Earth in particular in connection with the climatic challenges. This will further energize an interaction that is now centuries old. From the propellant to the launcher, from the telescope to the satellite, from the space suit to the city and the furniture, the exhibition sketches a twin path.