One of the wonderful things about our nation’s Copyright Act is found under Section 105, which stipulates that the stuff government agencies — like NASA — create is free for anyone to use. Which makes projects like this space-plastered wallpaper possible.
If you walked by a wall decorated with this wallpaper designed by Calico Wallpaper and BCXSY, you probably wouldn’t immediately recognise the patterns as stars and nebulas. That’s because the imagery, which is dug out of NASA’s massive image archive, has been inverted — hence its name Inverted Spaces. And they have been run through an unusual printing process that renders the blues and whites of the original mages with metallic gold, silver, and iridescent sheen.
The designers at Calico make 100 per cent cotton wallpaper by hand — often using a technique from Turkey called Ebru, a form of paper marbling:
Their paper normally comes out looking fairly celestial, but for a series they started last year they turned literal — using archival images from NASA and printing the photos in gold and gunmetal metallics (Core77 has a great rundown on how it was made). They hung strips of the stuff around a gallery in Milan earlier this spring, including tables and chairs plastered with golden nebulas and star clusters:
You’ll eventually be able to buy the wallpaper through Rossana Orlandi, but you can also see it installed at