Out of the Cradle:  Inclusive Systems in Outer Space

Out of the Cradle: Inclusive Systems in Outer Space

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Royal Observatory

Blackford Hill



United Kingdom

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Outer space’s abstract appearance leads to a desire for its systemisation in order to conceptualise and normativize the human position within it. This includes epistemological “systems of thought” and ontologies of “natural systems”. Their architectural construction is by necessity defined by perspectival characterisation, with core differentiation of belonging(s) and position(s).

This workshop will explore the emergent systemisation of outer space with specific reference to inclusivity, through attempts at “world making” through life systems and architectures. We will integrate perspectives from natural sciences, social sciences, humanities and art, and deploy creative “fieldwork” and “design” approaches to defining vision(s) of inclusivity in the context of emerging outer space systems.



09.00-09.30 Coffee, Welcome, Introductions, Format
09:30-10.30 DEFINITION: Systems and Inclusivity (keynote)
10.30-12.00 EXPLORATION: Engaging with the Presence of Systems and Architecture(s) (laboratory tour: THOUGHT -NATURAL -> SYSTEMATISATION)
12.00-13.00 Lunch
13.00-14.30 DESIGN: The making of inclusive systems? (workshop)
14.30-15.00 Coffee Break
15.00-16.30 APPLICATION(S) & IMPLICATIONS: Systems and Architectures as Discourse and Negotiations (panel)
16.30-17.00 Summary
(17.00-18.00) (Dinner)
18.00-19.30 Public SEMINAR: Visions of an Inclusive Outer Space: Systems and Architectures
19.30-20.30 Reception


There is limited space for this event.

Please, apply by 17th June 2019!


This program has been developed with our partners, the Cultural Centre of European Space Technologies (KSEVT) and Waag Society.


Out of the Cradle is the joint ground for the different communities involved in methodological and practical research of the human position in outer space to intersect.

Space agencies already invest in delivering benefits to the citizens and humankind by exploring the deepest realms of the Universe, the foundations of our physicality and augmentations of everyday surroundings. What existing space activities fundamentally lack is understanding the humanness of being in outer space. With Out of the Cradle, we aim to contribute human-centred perspectives into outer space utilisation. We are developing composite interfaces between established domains, composite missions to advocate non-established human and social studies beyond Earth’s atmosphere and showcase human space activities as a cultural and not only technological venture.

Past workshops: Vitanje (2013), Ljubljana (2014), St.Petersburg (2014), Moscow (2015), Vitanje (2015), Amsterdam (2018), Noordwijk (2018)


This workshop is part of the Space Enlightenment Festival, highlighting the vital contribution of humanities, arts and social science to framing the future of engagement with Outer Space from a human perspective. The Festival is coordinated by the Social Dimensions of Outer Space (SDOS) network, with financial support from the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Napier University. www.sdos.ac.uk