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
North Side: The HOME
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:
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.
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
www.greenmap.org. 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.
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