Rule 1 Aesthetics
What most people call “The Enterprise” of “Star Trek” (1966-1969), I call The Star Trek Starship. In “Star Trek” there were supposed to be 12 or more such ships, only one of which was named Enterprise.
Contrary to what might be popular belief, the Star Trek Starship was designed mostly for aesthetics (Aesthetics is something to look at, that has no functionality). It was not designed for the functionality of a real space ship. Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, knew this—for he was the one who gave his rules for what he wanted his “Spaceship” to be.
Actually, aesthetics was Gene’s number one most important requirement for the design of his “ship”: That whatever it was to be, he wanted it to be neat to look at, at any camera angle. Gene was doing only a television show, he wasn’t designing a real space ship, and he was not a space ship designer!
This is very important for all would be Star Trek type starship designers; the Star Trek Starship is not a real space ship, and could never be. It is purely fiction. And those people who think that any such like design could be some day, are certifiably nuts! For those people who want to be totally realistic, they should get away from fiction, and try designing something real, meaning something that will function.
Gene might never have admitted to anyone that his starship was purely fictional, but he had to have known that it was. Fiction is not reality, therefore is not real, and so cannot be realistic. So don’t fool yourself.
So, if you are designing a Star Trek like starship, you are designing something that is fictional, and it should be something that is neat to look at, preferably at any camera angle. Neatness, or attractiveness was more important to Gene for his starship than anything else. At least in the beginning.