In 1964, a Zambian grade-school science teacher by the name of Edward Nkoloso single-handedly, and unilaterally, created a space program for his country. The program involved rolling aspiring astronauts down a hill in a 40-gallon oil drum and clipping their rope-swings at the height of their arc to simulate weightlessness. He claimed his country would not only beat both the USSR and USA to the moon, but do it within the year.
Nkoloso’s space plans included sending a 16 year old girl, two cats and a missionary to Mars, by launching them from a catapult at the far side of the Moon.
Is it possible through design to manipulate a unlikely concept to appear more credible? A research project on brand exposure stated that the feeling of familiarity is often mistankly interpreted as indicating that a made-up brand exists.
In this specific case, Nkoloso’s space agency has been brougth to life as the Zambia Academy of Space Research (ZASR). By exploring typical space agency traditions and clichés, this project aims to appear trustworthy in design, but questionable in its foundation. And it that sense, everything has been designed with the same authenticity, from spacecrafts to space-cats.
Mr. Edward Nkoloso has been a big inspiration throughout this project. His ambitions and dreams where never limited by the challenging reality that Zambia and many other african nations was (and still are) going through.