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Sphere on Spiral Stairs

The Architecture of Contemplation

Welcome, fellow architects.

In Conversation With: Ariel Ekblaw


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Ariel Ekblaw is the Director of the MIT Space Exploration Initiative, and Co-founder and CEO of the Aurelia Institute.

Now, there may be two people here conversing on big topics, but there is also a third towering presence, that of Space. Ariel's current positions are firmly focused on the founding principle of the Aurelia Institute, that is, 'realising an in-space society into the 21st century and beyond.'

For any person who has ever for a moment looked out into the night's sky, this conversation is for you. The mystery of space for me, as for many, is so baffling, and beautiful, that it sometimes significant effort to tether myself to the here and now. The ground beneath our feet seems solid, our environs fixed, but in actual fact we live on a droplet of water hurtling through a near perfect vacuum, orbiting a ball of fire.

Ariel was raised with a clear sense of giving back. After a double major in Physics, Mathematics and Philosophy from Yale, positions in industry, and a Masters and PhD at MIT, Ariel has taken this ethic of service, and applied it to the domain of aerospace engineering. In collaboration with her team, and co-founders, hers is also an inclusive vision. Space is as much for artists, architects, and poets, as it is for hard scientists.

The word for me that emerged from this conversation, is expansive. Ariel is literally expanding human habitation into space, but also for me it expresses her ever-expanding pool of knowledge and deepening self-awareness, to expand a vision of the future that includes all. Topics covered include Ariel's PhD thesis which is now being tested in lower earth orbit, the space commons, biomimicry in space design, being a generative thinker and much more.

With one's gaze so often spent looking to the great above, Ariel is deliberate about the places, spaces, and things, that allow her to access states of rest, respite and contemplation here on earth. Winking books and deep immersion in nature, make an appearance.

Without further ado I bring you Ariel Ekblaw.


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Produced by Annika Sost


Further Delving:

| Ariel Ekblaw WEBSITE

| Aurelia Institute WEBSITE

| Into the Anthropocosmos BOOK

Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov BOOK

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