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In an era where anti science elements are becoming increasingly powerful it is important that we create dynamic opportunities to reach the imagination and minds of people. The exploration of space and imagining the future was a field that visionaries and creative thinkers could use to tap into a culture that was undergirded by utopian thinking and spurred on by technological advancement. Subsequently, many promises went unfulfilled, social inequality expanded, and the current of utopian thinking shifted. We are now in an era in which truth is under attack, the resources for science, public education, and programs are being cut, and the public understanding and appreciation of science is being actively stifled. It is time that we find ways to spark the utopian imagination, encourage interest in science and expand our visionary thinking.

This project aims to spark the imagination of its visitors by combining opportunities for multi-sensory simulated experiences of space, celestial objects and atmospheres while also providing a backdrop for observing the sky and natural environment of the West Texas Hill Country.

The building is a hybrid of approaches for understanding astronomy. It borrows and reinterprets elements from ancient structures to suggest the early relationships societies have had with the sky, while the building’s form incorporates physical instruments to provide visitors with a direct relationship to the sun, and a space open to the sky to observe the sky and stars. This project also proposes creating spaces flexible for simulating environments by using a hybrid of physical elements and digital elements. The approach would be to manipulate temperature, light, humidity, material, while supplementing with projection, virtual and augmented reality technology.

Through these two approaches visitors will be able to explore the frontiers of astronomical science and reconnect with a common traditional human practice of watching the sky.