Origins of the Apollo Spacesuit – A True Maker Story by Nicholas de Monchaux

Maker Faire Bay Area 2011
Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo

When Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the surface of the moon in 1969, the Spacesuit they were wearing was made not by a military-industrial conglomerate, but by Playtex makers of women’s underwear. Not only was the suit hand-sewn by seamstresses whose usual work was sewing bras and girdles, but the head of suit development for Playtex, Lenny Sheperd, had only previously worked as a television repairman. An artifact of maker culture long-before-the-fact, the Apollo spacesuit holds crucial lessons for how we approach technology, and our own human nature.

Web site:

Project photo.

About the Maker(s)

Nicholas de Monchaux

Nicholas de Monchaux is an architect, writer and urbanist, and Assistant Professor of Architecture at UC Berkeley. His work and has been published in Log, Architectural Design, The New York Times, and The New York Times Magazine. He is also the author of Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo (MIT Press, 2011).

Nicholas will be speaking Saturday at 2pm on Center Stage at Maker Faire Bay Area.

Maker Faire Detroit – Thank you

Great note about what participating in Maker Faire means.

On behalf of the entire WEC Institute team, Thank you! We greatly appreciate the opportunity to be part of both the Can Do Camp and Maker Faire Detroit. Our team had a great time.

And as one of team member said, “When can we do it again?” We all share that feeling and look forward to the next Maker Faire. I think this event is exactly what Detroit, southeastern Michigan, and the Midwest needs.

During the Faire we had the opportunity to interact with so many. What a great bunch of people. We were truly impressed by all we met. We also had the opportunity to find out about ourselves and our community. We were unaware of so many of the things going on in our own back yard. We have a long way to go but have so much encouragement on our journey.

Thank you again for all that you did to make this event so successful and for inviting us to be part of it. We greatly appreciate it. Please let us know if we can be of any help.

Your MAKER Friends,
The WEC Institute Team
Kimber Spahr
Andre Renier
Mary Anne Renier
John Howard
> Making Something Out of Maker Faire

Can-do attitude? You’re welcome at the Faire. Doing it to be creative or to make money? You’re in. Want to get feedback on your craft or just talk to other like-minded makers? Come on down.

Even better – if you’re a business that needs something – whatever thingie you need – come and see if there’s a maker to match. This could be the place to find your next designer, engineer or Big Thinker. Source from your own community, Dougherty says. That too is the future of Detroit

Love this idea: come to Maker Faire Detroit to look for makers who might help you get things done.