While still a design student, Cecilia Hertz went to NASA and the Johnson Space Center in Houston and showed 8000 engineers how to build a space ambulance. Hertz used design methodology and new thinking to solve what a lot of space engineers had not thought of.
Hertz came into contact with NASA when she was enrolled in the Star Design studio at Lund University. Some 8000 engineers work at the space centre, but only 6 designers and architects. Hertz used design methodology to show that cubic metres are more important than square metres and that a high-tech environment can be improved for the astronauts who spend time in it.
According to Hertz an extreme environment can be made more human, while enabling it to fulfil important functions more successfully. This type of approach can also be applied to other projects: The space technology can be transfered into daily life. In 2001 Hertz was one of the initiators of Umbilical Design, a company that specialises in design solutions for space and other extreme environments on earth, like mines and oil platforms.
Hertz’s work has been exhibited at the Space Expo, ESA (European Space Agency), Belgium and on different locations in Sweden.
Cecilia Hertz is currently preparing a paper on space design to be presented at SPACE 2003, a conference held in Long Beach, California.