What are the things I should focus on when designing a sleek airlock on an advanced spaceship?
Jessie Armstrong, England
When you’re looking to design a specific environment like an airlock from scratch, a key thing to remember is that it isn’t going to be a standalone piece. It’s part of a larger vehicle or environment, so you need to consider not just the airlock’s design, but how it fits in with your location’s construction and purpose. The airlock acts as both a passageway and a safety feature, so it needs to look like something that can be used by individuals, but also something that has a lot of visual density.
I like to focus on shapes early on in the design to convey the heaviness and bulk of the door, something that can withstand the pressure difference. Material choices are key, not just for function, but also to match your settlement or ship. A docking station is likely to see a lot of back and forth, reflected in additional wear and tear. Whereas an outpost with a skeleton crew of scientists is going to be a lot cleaner and more sterile.
I pay special attention to readability, not just in the visuals but also in the elements in the scene. Most people aren’t familiar with airlocks, so I need to convey the use of the surrounding equipment with simple and clear ideas.
Any aesthetic complexity comes from tailoring the scene to feel more technologically advanced. In this piece, I want to create a scientific module, as part of a larger habitat – just one of many outposts in the galaxy.
Surgical machinery was the inspiration to create a sterile, minimalistic theme to the scene. I want to add an element that showcases that the environment was utilised by humans. The space suit also acts as a recognisable scaling device.