SolarScapes ASCI

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Project #2 Solspherica
A Solar-Driven, Interactive, Multimedia Exhibit
by Amelia Amon & Wendy Brawer

Entering the Liberty Science Center's Atmosphere Deck from the Energy or Environment Halls, visitors are led to the convergence of the two, the SolSpherica. With an elegant, shimmering simplicity, this colorful solar-driven multimedia artwork features Star Power's connection to our Homes, our Communities, our Earth and to the Galaxy. The outdoor solar exhibit's perimeter is defined
by a low, circular mound of recycled rubber that serves as the
face of a compass rose. Each of the four directions has an artful/scientific SolSpherican element:

North Side: The HOME

SolSpherica's home base is a tall curved metal kiosk with a photovoltaic roof. This seasonally-adjustable cantilevered roof will provide energy and shade for an illuminated interactive educational display, including a metaphorical attic full of historical PV modules from the 50's till today. LEDs and graphics will explain details and advantages of each PV type. Visitors will be able to cause fluctuations in attached meters by covering small PVs with their hands. A programmable readerboard will announce breakthroughs in solar technologies and policies, upcoming SolSpherica Theremin concerts, and comments by visitors.

East Side: The COMMUNITY

The Atmospheric Deck's perfect view of Manhattan inspired our vision for the community's skyline of tomorrow. The Cityscape Solarscope will illuminate all the places where solar energy can be collected by the community and where biodiversity can flourish in a metropolis. A large circular panel will highlight the potential building integrated PV sites, million solar roofs, solar water heaters and wind turbines. Green areas will identify sites for roof gardens, moss covered walls, nature stations, planted roadways, floating gardens and bio-based water cleaning systems. A viewer-operated hand-crank will bring the future skyline into view, and a concise display will explain the technologies, and estimate the potential power and eco-payback of this community-based renewable future.

South Side: The EARTH

A sundial will show us one of the most ancient mergings of solar art and science. A tall central projecting pointer (GNOMON) and surrounding calibrated dial will be designed with many references to the globe. The pole's shadow will create the sundial, with time markings for different seasons on the rubber flooring. A model of the earth will revolve in a track around a central sun. It will expand the viewers' understanding of the ever-changing positions of the sun and earth, and our location on the planet, along with tracking technology. A compass will also be included.

West Side: The GALAXY

SolSpherica's Theremin will offer the audience a chance to conduct the Music Of The Stars! With its delightful waves of sound and retro-future styling, this could possibly be the world's first Solar Theremin. Graphics will explain how this harbinger of the age of electronic music, invented in the 1920s, actually makes its atmospheric, mystical tones. Moving their arms in proximity to metal wandss, visitors will be able to play whenever the sun is shining, and a professional Theremin Concert will celebrate the sun on each Solstice during SolSpherica's three year installation.

SolSpherica will utilize power generated by Liberty Science Center's 1KW array along with some small-scale sample photovoltaic panels. Materials will be selected for environmental elegance, appearance, durability and reusability. Control panels and wiring will be housed in the various components, the solar Kiosk (Home) and beneath the rubber plate. It is our intention that SolSpherica's compass rose will give direction to a more renewable, healthier and sustainable future for all.                            Click HERE for additional images of Solspherica's design.

Designers: Amelia Amon (alt.technica) & Wendy Brawer (Modern World Design), NYC


Amelia Amon... is an industrial designer who develops solar, water, and energy-efficient systems in simple, fluid forms for a variety of products and site-specific projects. Her work includes a garden fountain with integral photovoltaic cells for the Smithsonian Institution National Design Museum Cooper-Hewitt, a solar freezer cart for Ben & Jerry's, system components for the NYS Energy Research & Development Authority, a solar waterfall in a community park in the Bronx, a solar streetlight for Austin Energy, and travel to India with the Institute for Policy Studies to explore alternative energy resources for rural women. She is co-founder of the NY Chapter of the O2 International Network for environmentally-concerned Designers and was Chair of the NY Chapter of the Industrial Designers Society of America.

Wendy E. Brawer... is a eco-designer with an artist's background. Since 1990,her company, Modern World Design, has created services, systems and products that promote ecological stewardship, including the Green Apple Map of NYC's green sites, which inspired the Green Map System, an award-winning local- global collaboration that she directs Wendy was born in Detroit and was a sculptor in Seattle and Tokyo before moving to NYC in the late Eighties. She was the 1997 Designer in Residence at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, and involved with the solar symposium held there in 1998. She is co-founder of the NY Chapter of the O2 International Network for eco-designers and past Chair of the Environmental Committee of the Industrial Designers Society of America.

Guidelines | Application Requirements | Timeline | SolarScapes Intro | ASCI

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