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Student Showcase Archive

Tibor Balint

PhD Work

PhD work

  • Cybernetic Astronaut Chair

    Cybernetic Astronaut Chair, Tibor Balint 2014
    metal rods, canvas, paracord, pvc, wood, eyelets
    W100 cm x H75 cm x D75 cm | Photographer: Andor Ivan

  • Galileo Flow Field

    Galileo Flow Field, Tibor Balint 2015
    walnut & patinated bronze
    H16 cm x W11.5 cm x D4.5 cm | Photographer: Tibor Balint & Oliver Lehtonen

  • Venus Watch 1.0

    Venus Watch 1.0, Tibor Balint & Julian Melchiorri 2013
    3d printed titanium, parachute nylon, sapphire, woven carbon sheet
    D4 cm | Photographer: Julian Melchiorri

  • Al Seiff Memorial Award Medal

    Al Seiff Memorial Award Medal, Tibor Balint 2016
    patinated bronze
    H7 cm x W5.1 cm x D1.4 cm | Photographer: Tibor Balint & Oliver Lehtonen

  • Expanding Boundaries Medal

    Expanding Boundaries Medal, Tibor Balint 2016
    patinated bronze
    H7 cm x W5.1 cm x D1.4 cm | Photographer: Tibor Balint & Oliver Lehtonen

  • Play

Design Space for Space Design:Humanly {S:pace} Constructs Across Perceptional Boundaries

This research explores modes of operation, including designerly and artistic modes, to show demonstrable value to enhance NASA’s capability to innovate beyond its engineering mode of operation. Through a performative approach, which is built on second-order cybernetic-perspectives and human-centred design focused goal seeking, the insights gained from the research are applied to NASA’s space exploration paradigm. The two primary application examples examine strategic level organisational conversations in support of strategic decision-making, and a human centred approach to space habitats that is utilising conversations and boundary objects towards the higher-level needs of the astronauts. Secondary examples explore designing the design environments through human centred conversations with stakeholders, storytelling, multi-nodal and multimodal conversations, designerly modes of operation in engineering focused environments, and explore the potential benefits of a design education program to change the organisational culture on the long term. These examples are grounded and substantiated using specifically created boundary objects, which are used as communication tools across multiple disciplines in the intersection of design, art, engineering, and science.



  • PhD


    School of Design


    Innovation Design Engineering, 2012–2016

  • Tibor Balint is a multi-disciplinary researcher who employs second-order cybernetics-based perspectives with the goal to foster design conversations and advance the roles of designerly and artistic modes of operation within NASA’s engineering dominated paradigm. His prior work spans from shaping NASA’s technology portfolio, as the Program Executive for the Game Changing Development Program, and then as the Senior Technical Advisor under the Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, and as a Senior Technologist within the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA HQ. As a mission and systems architect, and technologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory he worked on numerous robotic mission architecture concepts and proposals, and assessed extreme environment technologies and their impacts on future missions. He is a full member of the International Academy of Astronautics.

  • Degrees

  • PhD Engineering, University of Warwick, 2001; Master of Space Studies, International Space University, Strasbourg, France, 2002; MPhil Engineering, University of Exeter, 1989; MSc Engineering, Technical University of Budapest, 1987
  • Experience

  • Senior Technical Advisor, NASA HQ, Washington DC, 2013–14; Program Executive for GCDP/STMD, NASA HQ, Washington DC, 2011–13; Senior Technologist for OCT, NASA HQ, Washington DC, 2010–11; Systems Architect and Technologist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, 2002–10
  • Awards

  • REMET Student Casting Prize 2016, for "Galileo Flow Field," a bronze artefact using the investment casting process
  • Conferences

  • Balint, T., Pangaro, P. (2016) “Design Space for Space Design – Dialogs Through Boundary Objects at the Intersections of Art, Design, Science, and Engineering,” 67th International Astronautical Congress; Balint, T., Freeman, A., (2016) “Designing the Design at JPL’s Innovation Foundry,“ 67th IAC, Session D.1.3 System Engineering—Methods, Processes and Tools, Guadalajara, Mexico, September; Balint, T., (2016) “Making of the Galileo Flow Field Artefacts,” 13th International Planetary Probe Workshop, Laurel, Maryland, June; Balint, T., (2016) “Designing space design – from objects to organisations (a cybernetic perspective),” Invited Keynote Presentation, 2nd Hungarian Space Conference, H-Space 2016, February; Balint, T., Hall, A., (2015) “How to design and fly your humanly space object in space?” Paper Number: IAC-15-E.5.4.1, 66th International Astronautical Congress, IAC-2015, Jerusalem, Israel, October; Balint, T., Depenbrock, B., Stevens, J., (2015) “Design Driven Approach to Optimize the Research and Development Portfolio of a Technology Organization,” Paper Number: IAC-15-D.1.6.1, 66th IAC / IAC-2015, Jerusalem, Israel, October 12-16; Balint, T., Hall, A., (2015) “The Roles of Design and Cybernetics for Planetary Probe Missions,” International Planetary Probe Workshop, IPPW-12, Cologne, Germany, June 15–19; Depenbrock, B., Balint, T., Sheehy, J., (2015) “Leveraging Design Principles to Optimize Technology Portfolio Prioritization,” IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, Montana, USA, March 7–14; Balint, T., Stevens, J., (2014) “Wicked problems in space technology development at NASA,” IAC-2014, 65th International Astronautical Congress, Paper: D1.3.6x22735, Toronto, Canada, Sept. 29–Oct. 3; Balint, T., Hall, A., (2014) “Humanly space objects - perception and connection with the observer,” IAC-2014, Paper:E5,4.4x27194, Toronto, Canada, Sept.29–Oct.3; Balint, T., Melchiorri, J., (2013) “Making the Venus Concept Watch 1.0”, 64th International Astronautical Congress, Beijing, China, Paper ID Number: IAC–13–E5.4.6, September 23–27; Balint, T., (2013) “Disruptive Innovation: A Comparison Between Government and Commercial Space,” 64th International Astronautical Congress, Beijing, China, Paper ID Number: IAC–13–D1.3.3, September 23–27
  • Publications

  • Balint, T., Hall, A. (2016) “How to design and fly your humanly space object in space?” Acta Astronautica, Volume 123, June–July 2016, pp 71–85; Balint, T., Stevens, J. (2016). “Wicked problems in space technology development at NASA,” Acta Astronautica, Volume 118, January–February 2016, pp 96–108; Balint, T., Hall, A. (2015) “Humanly space objects – perception and connection with the observer,” Acta Astronautica, Volume 110, May–June 2015, pp 129–144; Balint, T., Melchiorri, J., 2014. “Making the Venus Concept Watch 1.0,” Acta Astronautica, Vol.101, pp 138-150, Issue: August–September