Suncatcher

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The design of Suncatcher has derived from a flock of birds following the sun.

How birds fly together is a fascinating, beautiful phenomenon, which is still progressively being researched under the theory of ‘Swarm Intelligence’. This movement is self organising, so there is not leader or hierarchy within the group. Instead they work together to form one single formation. The properties that emerge can only be obtained by the system as a whole, not its individual parts.

This interaction reflects the ethics of Burning Man and how each year individual people from all over the world collaborate together to create a self supporting community. Consequently, Suncatcher’s theoretical and physical formation emphasises aspects of Burning Mans principles, such as, communal effort, participation and decommodification.

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Physically, Suncatcher will demonstrate the dynamic movement of birds, which will both be a radical contrast to the flat surface of the desert, whilst also complementing the mountains that surrounds the site.

As the spaces created are emerged from the path of the sun; they provide orientation and framed views for participants to enjoy their surroundings.

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Different shadows are produced from this skin throughout the day, depending on the position of the sun, representing a continuous movement of the birds formation.

The title Suncatcher refers to an ornamental object which ‘catches the light’ it can be thought of as the optical equivalent of a wind chime. As the design is developed around the suns location and the skin ‘glows’ when  light is shone on it, exposing its complex structure and beautiful shadows.final16 final17

Using CNC to make a scale model at 1:4

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3 comments
  1. Ross said:

    Sarah, this is amazing. I trust you put in a grant application….I hope you get funded! Ross – Temple Crew

  2. Thank you Ross! Yes i have submitted an application, will wait and see now, Burning Man would be an amazing experience!

  3. Ross said:

    Ross again. I hope they announce awards earlier than last year…I can’t stand waiting. I’ve recalculated costs and broke out crew assignments on a project that may not happen….yikes. BTW, a very good friend: Natalie Newey is an instructor at WU. If anyone at the U gets a grant they should /can contact me about logistics etc. This would be my 11th year at BM, so I guess I know the dust by now.

    Best of luck and waiting.

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