We present Inner Space, an essay we have written in connection to the curatorship of the homonymous exhibition at the 2019 Lisbon Triennale. Inner Space is part of broader research that we are conducting for a few years through this website, our practice and teaching activity. We have defined Socks as “a nonlinear journey through faraway territories of human imagination”, and we wrote Inner Space to dig further into this expression, to try and understand what imagination, – specifically architectural imagination -, is and how it can take the form of an inhabitable territory. This attempt takes inspiration from the surrealist trope of turning mental realms into actual landscapes and from mnemonic techniques aimed at spatializing mental processes, like the “art of memory”.
Nine years after John F. Kennedy gave his speech, “The New Frontier,” Neil Armstrong became the first person to step foot on the moon. At the height of the Cold War, the American flag Armstrong raised claimed victory for the United States. The Soviet launch of Sputnik in 1957 had spurred the United States into action. The White House’s “Introduction to Outer Space,” published March 1958 outlined the justifications for undertaking a national space program: “The first of these factors is the compelling urge of man to explore and to discover, the thrust of curiosity that leads men to try to go where no one has gone before. Most of the surface of the earth has now been explored and men now turn to the exploration of outer space as their next objective.” Several months later, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, was founded.