University of Waterloo
School of Architecture
Arch 443 / 646
Architecture and Film 2005:

Environments in Zero Gravity

Film gives us the rare opportunity to completely question all that has come to be accepted in terms of the language of architecture as well as architectural and historic convention. Much of the development of this convention is based upon the existence of gravity.

Exploration of space themes in film has allowed for the exploration of an architecture that can be imagined and designed, without gravity or reference to normal architectural conventions -- but, has it in fact been?

In the short history of space themed films, from Aelita in 1924 to the final installation of the Star Wars Saga in 2005, much has changed as a result both of the increase in scientific knowledge, as well as the technological advances in the film industry. Knowledge has given directors a choice.

This web project indentifies prevalent themes throughout films that address the construction and habitation of environments that are out of the range of the gravitational forces of earth - and therefore, beyond the necessary adherence to the normal constraints of architectural design.


Terri Meyer Boake
David Takacs
Emily Maemura
Mat Triebner
Allison Janes
Andrea Wong
Nathan Rehorick
Derek McCallum
B J Smith
Matt Storus
Elfie Kalfakis
Liana Bresler
Filmography for the course
  Aelita: Queen of Mars (1924) discussion questions
  Just Imagine (1930) discussion questions
  First Men in the Moon :: H.G. Wells (1964) discussion questions
  2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) discussion questions
  Silent Running (1971) discussion questions
  Solaris (1972) discussion questions
  Star Wars IV: A New Hope (1977) discussion questions
  Outland (1981) discussion questions
  Total Recall (1990) discussion questions
  Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) discussion questions
  Superstructures: Building the International Space Station  

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