Alternative Building, Architecture and Science Fiction

I’ve always been a bit obsessed with alternative building techniques and non-conventional architecture. My personal library contains a large number of books on straw-bale houses, cob construction, earthbag and many more styles of building. If you doubt me, check out my pinterest board for small houses I want to build some day.

One of the great things about writing science fiction is that I get to explore those same ideas in my writing. The first season of the Galactic Consortium serial takes place almost entirely onboard a single space ship, so there simply isn’t room to explore much. But in the future we will see more about how the Consortium lives and what their architecture looks like. It’s a blend of nano-polymers, sculpted like cob or adobe, but much more durable. It’s a big part of why the consortium has a feel of both being ahead of us, and more primitive.

Just because you are a spacefaring race doesn’t mean you have to live like you are in space. Consortium space ships, the big ones that people call home for their entire lives, abound in open courts. The open courts allow people to build dwellings that look and feel like villages and cities. Living on an open court is the best of both worlds. You get the open space of living on a planet, but with the perfect climate control on living inside.

Instead of a house with rooms, many live in small self contained courts, with individual bungalows or domes for rooms. The main living area is outside on a patio that might be open to the public or secluded and private.

There are numerous subcultures in the consortium and their dwellings reflect this. Some people live on courts, others choose more apartment-like dwellings on the stations. Still others live under giant domes, literally cities floating in space. There are domes, villas, bungalow, and many other structures.

I’ve followed the tiny house movement for a long time. My own house, at 1200 hundred square feet, is not a tiny house by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s not a typical McMansion either. I love the idea of making the most of a small space.

Needless to say, the consortium reflects a lot of the same principles. Living in space requires it. Physical space is one of the most precious commodities, so designing rooms and houses that make the most of it only makes sense. To alleviate the small spaces and the sense of claustrophobia that might come from living your life on a spaceship, the consortium opts for large open markets and public spaces.

When will you get to see these in print? Towards the end of season one and in the future seasons. Until then, Season one, Episode Two should be out by the month’s end.

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