Origins of the Apollo Spacesuit – A True Maker Story by Nicholas de Monchaux
Maker Faire Bay Area 2011
Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo
When Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the surface of the moon in 1969, the Spacesuit they were wearing was made not by a military-industrial conglomerate, but by Playtex makers of women’s underwear. Not only was the suit hand-sewn by seamstresses whose usual work was sewing bras and girdles, but the head of suit development for Playtex, Lenny Sheperd, had only previously worked as a television repairman. An artifact of maker culture long-before-the-fact, the Apollo spacesuit holds crucial lessons for how we approach technology, and our own human nature.
About the Maker(s)
Nicholas de Monchaux
Nicholas de Monchaux is an architect, writer and urbanist, and Assistant Professor of Architecture at UC Berkeley. His work and has been published in Log, Architectural Design, The New York Times, and The New York Times Magazine. He is also the author of Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo (MIT Press, 2011).
Nicholas will be speaking Saturday at 2pm on Center Stage at Maker Faire Bay Area.