SOM is contributing design and manufacturing research towards a new type of modular space station that will use graphene composites as a structural material. Seen here in low Earth orbit, the capsules can be configured for living quarters. (Courtesy SOM)

SOM and The University of Manchester envision the space habitat of the future

How will we live in space?” is a question that Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has already broached through its work for the European Space Agency (ESA)’s Moon Village.
Now, the architecture and planning giant is turning its attention to more orbital heights by teaming with the University of Manchester and the school’s Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre to investigate graphene’s potential to build the next generation of space habitats.

Graphene is often touted as a miracle material; created in single-atom-thick sheets of carbon arranged in a structurally rigid lattice, the material is highly…