Saturday, October 16, 2021

Keep courage, take that first step

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Sabine Elsässer
Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

AAKA Space Studion: One of the pioneers of Space Architecture in India and Canada

Please introduce yourself and your startup AAKA Space Studio to our readers!

I am an award-winning Space Architect, founder of AAKA SPACE STUDIO, I have given Ted talks on Space Architecture and the Application of Artificial Intelligence in Space Architecture. I have graduated with a dual degree from Leeds Beckett University (U.K) and VIA University (Denmark) in Architectural Technology and Construction Management and post-graduation in Construction Management along with an experience in Affordable Housing from Uganda (Africa). With my intention to lift the under-developed communities, I created a small non-profit organization in Uganda during my internship.

I have been appreciated for my contributions in the industry with awards like “Global Icon Award as India’s youngest icon in Space Architecture”, “Lunar Base contract Award” from NASA Space Academy, and other International and National accolades in design.

AAKA is a new design practice with the vision to create interactive human-centered living spaces and integrating technical comprehension in analog habitats for extraterrestrial, orbital, Lunar, and Mars missions. Our goal is to design, build and test deployable habitable structures while integrating Origami into the architecture. We are a team of inspired and passion-driven Individuals from various backgrounds who believe in finding the pathway from impossible to possible by learning, evolving, and addressing the fundamental question of our existence.

How did you get the idea of AAKA Space Studio?

Space architecture is an emerging field all across the world. After I won a lunar Design contract along with a team during my NASA Space Academy at the age of thirteen, that is when I got vitalize to pursue architecture and become a Space Architecture. After completing graduation from VIA University in Denmark, I was desperately looking for opportunities in Space Architecture, and not having enough opportunities I went on to create one by founding North America and South Asia’s first Space Architecture Studio. 

My mission for AAKA SPACE STUDIO is to push the boundaries and find a cost-effective solution to test, build and launch habitable volume in space 

In addition to this, these are some other goals. 

                  Establish and create awareness about space architecture

·        Space architecture development covers 7 out of 16 UN-Sustainable Development Goals- to achieve SDGs

·        Create affordable space architecture education in developing and under-developed countries

What is the vision behind AAKA Space Studio?

The end goal of AAKA is to prefabricate the modular space habitable module and AAKA Space Studio is achieving this goal by designing, building, and testing the current prototype NOAH- Next Generation Origami Analog Habitat.

How difficult was the start and which challenges you had to overcome?

It was very challenging as I am a young woman in STEM and a  space entrepreneur, which itself comes with a lot of challenges such as lack of gender equality, age, and experience. Space Architecture is not sufficiently explored and at AAKA, what we are trying is to find the pathway from impossible to possible by addressing the cost-effectiveness of the space habitat. One of the biggest challenges was the grants for the startup to support research and development. It is very difficult to test the research and to acquire the grants, proof of concept is required. 

Who is your target audience?

Being one of the pioneers of Space Architecture in India and Canada, our focus is to establish space architecture and create awareness about it through affordable space architecture education. We are currently accepting students for the course that will start next year, which can be registered online through our website www.aakaspacestudio.com. To achieve our goals our target audience are space companies, government agencies, all space enthusiasts, and universities across the globe.

What is the USP of your startup?

Space Architecture is one of the budding fields of the space sector. In the upcoming decades, several space agencies are taking up missions to settle on Lunar and Martian surfaces. We are working on space architectural designs and concepts to support future space missions through cost-effective, autonomous deployable habitats. Our habitats will also be used as Space Analog Habitat for the scientists and researchers to conduct their experiments.

One  of our most prominent ongoing projects is NOAH 

Can you describe your typical workday?

I wake up by 5.00 am, followed by yoga and daily exercise from 5.30-7.00. Then I would have a healthy breakfast and start my work hours by 8.00 until 12.00 am. I work around 14-16 hrs a day as it is a startup, keeping health and family as a priority. I spend weekends on leisure activities.

Where do you see yourself and your startup AAKA Space Studio in five years?

I see myself as a proud CEO in Forbes 30 under 30 for my innovation and outreach in the emerging space architectural discipline and have AAKA SPACE STUDI as the world’s leading space architectural studio. Such a vision is only possible if we are successfully able to design, build and test our current planned prototypes, one such is our NOAH – Next-generation Origami Analog Habitat. 

 What 3 tips would you give to founders?

Keep courage, take that first step 

Be self-motivated, there will be challenges and failures but self-motivation will keep you going 

If you start, go all the way.

Thank you Aastha Kacha for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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