John Enright introduces Nicholas de Monchaux, author of Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo.
After commenting on his education at Yale, Nicholas de Monchaux compares the space race to architecture space. He discusses John F. Kennedy’s promise to land men on the moon as an image that had global impact. He compares the definitions of space used in different disciplines.
De Monchaux discusses the work of Jay Forrester who led MIT’s development of the Whirlwind I computer (1948-1951), which the Air Force wanted to use for flight simulation. He describes in detail how NASA’s first spacesuits were designed and manufactured, stressing the collaboration of designers, garment industry craftswomen, and the International Latex Corporation (now called Playtex).
De Monchaux argues that the most interesting and creative possibilities for architects come through an understanding of tools. He shows a selection of his work, and explains how systems technologies can promote new possibilities. He uses the work of Gordon Matta-Clark to demonstrate his points.