The Idea was to create a sunshade structure for the new playgrounds within the new International School. The sunshade element is a vital requirement to shield the youngsters from the sun and what better way than to incorporate the purpose of the structure into the fabric of the design. Further, we felt that we could integrate many objectives, aligning the schools broader astrological theme to an authentic educational tool that supports the overall mission, vision and values of The new Swigert McAuliffe International School and the characteristics they aim to cultivate within the young.
Our Cause at Working Art is to Make Ideas Tangible, the Effect is Working Art masterpieces. In this instance "Interactive Hard Art" was the perfect application to provide both a Work of Art and a tangible Instrument that supports this schools International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Year Program (PYP) program of a thematic approach to learning, integrating multiple subjects. Units are framed around one of the six themes" Who we are. How we express ourselves. Where we are in place and time. How the World works. Sharing the planet and how we organize ourselves.
Our intent for this structure was to fulfill a number of key roles. Firstly the Working Art form was to shield the youngsters from the sun, whilst incorporating an authentic astrological scheme as well as a timeless representation of a Dome. Providing a Universal frame of reference that offers a range and capacity that serves as an educational instrument for children of all ages, as well as a tool for their teachers, a broader awareness and orientation for the community as a whole and to act as a frame of reference for us all.
We designed a Universal tool that allows and encourages interaction, critical thinking and an understanding far beyond what is seen at first glance. A piece with infinite layers and potential at its core that will last and unfold for generations to come!
This piece also provides an opportunity for us to further apply and integrate a Solar lighting system and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) curriculum through a real life object. In addition to the project Scope it is Working Arts intention to work with the teachers of the school other collaborators and to develop curriculum and lesson plans that can be used interactively within the classroom through Promethean Planet.
To create an authentic and timeless representation of an ordained Dome that will be honored by time and last for generations to come, the sunshade structure was to be developed with twelve specially engineered and designed Steel Meridian shapes.
The Dome is 17ft tall, 15ft in diameter and 48 ft in circumference. The Dome itself is 7.5 ft in height and sits on six 9.5 ft columns.
Privilege and responsibility go hand in hand with each and every project, every element of the design, the build, the Install and the most minute of details takes an intense level of integrity and consideration, the astrological element of this piece was by no means an exception!
We determined the most relative and recognizable universal frame of reference for global orientation would be the twelve Zodiac constellations. For a starting point and for further research and studies to create the most authentic and relative map, we talked with our dear friend Vitaliy Vaisberg of www.AstrologYes.com.
With our commencement coordinates mapped we started the exploration of the universe and our orientation to it!
Astrological Design Elements
Rudimentary Education through Artistic Interaction.
We developed a design that each and every person on the planet can relate too, a gateway that offers a connection to a space and time that each individual knows, their birth sign! From this point onwards you can further explore timeless knowledge from infinite aspects and beliefs, including a todays popular frame within the STEM fields. We included and integrated vast universal rudimentary touch points that allows you to catapult as far into the universe as your internal guidance system takes you.
A few of the Rudimentary Information systems considered that we included and integrated into the design are:
The Ecliptic - The Sun's Highway
Seasonal transition points e.g. Spring equinox
Northern and Southern Hemisphere's
Gallactic coordinate system
Our orientation to the world and Universe we live within.
Universal Educational Themes incorporated into the design, include but are not limited too.
Stars and Nebular
Geometry and applied geometry
Drilled through the Dome are holes patterned after the Zodiac constellations found along the Ecliptic. As the sun travels overhead during the year its rays pass through the relevant constellation of the time of year, highlighting each of the stars that make up the 12 Zodiac constellations.
Interactive Hard Art
Our naturally inquisitive youth can continue to orientate themselves to an experience of artistic interaction as the piece provides a space for further Artistic, aesthetic and structural value. The picture below offers a further opportunity to light the Dome from the Inside with a solar power system! The Sun providing power to light it's path for the whole community to see in the form of Working Art form is just one example of the further opportunities of evolution and education through Interaction that we consider through our design process of "Making Ideas Tangible". To see the progression of the Solar Lighting system project click here.