Great moments in hexagonal corridor history

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  • #10302
    EarlEarl
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    Seriously, TV and movie science fiction. What is it with hexagonal/almost-hexagonal corridors?

    Okay, let’s sort this out. In an Earth-normal gravity environment, a hexagonal hallway wastes a huge amount of space. Out of all of these, I’ll give Star Trek props for occasionally showing that there’s equipment stowed behind those panels, and for using the bottom panels as lighting sources. Trek never uses a true hexagon anyway, but more of an elongated A-frame quasi-hexagon.

    And everyone else? What the hell? The reason people don’t have hexagonal hallways in houses and office buildings is because there’s no need. There’s nothing that demands that extra wedge of space on either side. And because structurally, you’ve got to do a lot of work to keep that upper angle… well, up. Maybe that’s the whole point of hexagonal corridors in the future: look at us, we’ve developed superior methods and materials, so needlessly supporting this upper angle that creates a wedge of space that nobody really needs isn’t wasteful, we’re just showing off!

    Next thing you know, some smart-ass will do octagonal corridors (even though, structurally, that’s easier to pull off).

    Oh, thanks, Kubrick. Bloody show-off.


    #11441
    ubikuberallesubikuberalles
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    I remember seeing a T-shirt for sale online some time in the late ’90s that had a slogan along the lines of “Hexagons are so the future”.

    For some reason, science fiction has always embraced the hexagon. From the seventies until now, they’ve always cropped up here and there. The human brain has fantastic pattern recognition abilities – we can look at a cloud and our brains will start decoding its shape, then voila, a bunny! Maybe there’s a part of the human mind that identifies a six-sided shape as futuristic. I can’t think of anything other than possibly crystals that are naturally hexagon-shaped. It could be that the brain works out that the hexagon doesn’t normally exist in nature and therefore is artificial and therefore “the future”.

    #11442

    Hexagons do occur naturally in the form of honeycombs and can be seen when things like soap bubbles cluster together, but in those cases it’s just the shape the mass settles into naturally while retaining its structure rather than you know, intentional design on the part of the bees. Singular honey comb construction (like with individual queen casings or a wasp cocoon) turn out to be lumpy and misshapen, yet still tube shaped.

    From a design aesthetic, hexagons are just so out of the norm of everyday life that they help contribute to an otherworldly feel to the setting, logic and sense be damned. Or maybe everyone’s just anticipating that Baron Harkonnen was gonna float down their halls one day and he needed that extra space in the middle. :O

    #11443
    ubikuberallesubikuberalles
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    What about triangular corridors?

    Is it a sign of a primitive society? Or just short fat aliens?

    #11445
    Gapporin
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    #11444
    ubikuberallesubikuberalles
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    The Star Trek ones bug me:

    The sides aren’t the same length so it’s not a regular shape. If you count each “segment” than it has ten sides. However, if you count just the straight segments than it has eight sides. The problem is the ceiling: it consists of three sides. If it was a single horizontal ceiling then we’d have the classic octagon. Instead we have a “designer” ceiling with the extra sides to it. So is it really an octagon or a hexagon with an attitude?

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