Sublime Territories of Launch (2021 Eidlitz Fellowship)

A large sheet metal structure with a bright blue sky.
Starbase. photo / provided
A rocket on a platform next to trees and grass and a sidewalk.
Falcon Rocket. photo / provided
A large rocket next to a launch tower with crane in the distance.
Starship. photo / provided
A building nestled in between shrubs next to water.
Bird Watching. photo / provided
Starbase. photo / provided Falcon Rocket. photo / provided Starship. photo / provided Bird Watching. photo / provided

Bios:

Edbert Cheng, AIA NCARB

Native to Hong Kong and Saint Louis, Edbert Cheng is a licensed architect in Massachusetts with an interest in emerging technologies and digital innovation. Since graduating from Cornell, he has worked on projects ranging from waterfront master planning, creative arts spaces, and co-working offices. His work has been featured in the NYC Open Data Gallery and the Cornell Journal of Architecture. He is currently based in Boston at Arrowstreet, developing a mass timber renovation in Maine and creating digital products for real estate development. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University.

Jordan Alejandro, WELL AP LEED GA

Native to Southwest Florida, Jordan Alejandro is a professional architectural designer with a deep-seated interest in the complexities of transportation and infrastructure and how that shapes societal function. He aspires to straddle his knowledge across policy, planning, design, and development as it pertains to the rapid growth of the State of Florida. He holds a Master of Architecture degree from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Design degree from the University of Florida. Currently, he is an architectural associate at Flad Architects specializing in innovative healthcare and S&T projects.

Abstract:

In the United States, infrastructure for space exploration spans the continent, encompassing countless research laboratories, factories, testing facilities, and monitoring stations. This often-concealed network of activity culminates with highly visible launch sites around the country, where cutting-edge technology interfaces with pristine coastal landscapes and habitats. Our Eidlitz Travel Fellowship, "Sublime Territories of Launch," explores the intersection of space technology, industrial infrastructure, and sustainable land use at major U.S. spaceports. In particular, the project develops a comparative analysis of two sites — SpaceX's Boca Chica testing facility in Brownsville, Texas, and the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida — by documenting the unique environmental and socioeconomic cultures of these places. The two sites, one public and one private, present starkly different visions of our space-faring future, and their successes (and failures) will determine the trajectory of future spaceport developments. Our mission is to provide a more critical understanding of the nascent, monumental territories of launch, revealing hidden development patterns and uncovering contemporary phenomena.

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