The Other Space Odysseys exhibition reveals how the exploration of space has informed the rediscovery of earth, and illustrates the importance of pursuing an architecture based on the production of ideas.


Featuring the work of architects Michael Maltzan,Greg Lynn, and Alessandro Poli, Other Space Odysseys comes at a time when space exploration is the subject of renewed enthusiasm, but also of debate which questions its justification. Scientific expeditions, satellite launches, and the emergence of space tourism are pushing us to reconsider our relationship with our own planet. Space has provided not only a rich context for experimentation, but also an extreme condition in which to test new ideas for life on earth.


The exhibition features the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a NASA laboratory in Pasadena, California, which seeks to bridge the chasm between the emotional qualities of space exploration and the bureaucratic nature of the scientific research that underlies these missions. The scientists at the JPL (established in the 1930’s) have been involved in many of the most important chapters in the history of space exploration.

The design, still in a preliminary phase, challenges existing architectural models for campuses that house scientific research, and proposes a new type of physical environment to facilitate collaboration. This dichotomy between earthbound scientists and their work at the scale of outer space is reflected in the exhibition. In the first gallery, a video of space exploration shows the sublime and heroic qualities of the images received from outer space. The second gallery presents the day-to-day technical and bureaucratic life of the JPL through data received from the Cassini mission, which is currently exploring Saturn and its moons. Study models created at the beginning of the design phase, as well as models of the current proposal for the JPL building created for the exhibition are displayed.

LOCATION / Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, Canada
TYPE / Gallery Exhibition
SIZE / 1,400sf
STATUS / Completed 2010
ROLE / Design Architect & Architect of Record
CURATOR /  Giovanna Borasi, Mirko Zardini