No, not really.
An article focusing on a mundane task – drinking a cup of coffee – wouldn’t seem to be worth reading. But nobody really thinks about the difficulties that astronauts face on a daily basis. Not only in their work, but in seemingly simple routines that we all take for granted.
While a rudimentary concept was created in 2008 by astronaut Don Pettit, it is only over the past year or so that researchers at Portland State University have tackled the creation of a low-gravity coffee cup head-on. The science behind the shape of the 3-D printed cup is meant to control the movement of liquid and direct it into an astronaut’s mouth.
But there isn’t just science and math at play. Design is at the core, even though for many it wouldn’t immediately jump to mind. The concept of design work is attributed to mostly two-dimensional media. Magazines, flyers, websites, logos and word marks, mobile interfaces – among many other examples. With 3D Printing taking off like it is, designers have been given a new medium to excel within.
With Italy sending an espresso machine up into space, and the United States working on perfecting this low-gravity coffee mug, maybe it won’t be long before baristas are pulling shifts in Earth’s orbit.
Designers can add more than just “Location: Planet Earth” to their resumes from here on out.