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id acadia03_034
authors Luhan, G.A., Bhavsar, S. and Walcott, B.L.
year 2003
title Deep-Time ProbeInvestigations in Light Architecture
source Connecting >> Crossroads of Digital Discourse [Proceedings of the 2003 Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design In Architecture / ISBN 1-880250-12-8] Indianapolis (Indiana) 24-27 October 2003, pp. 258-266
summary This paper presentation presents an interdisciplinary research project conducted by a design team comprised of faculty from the Colleges of Architecture, Engineering, and Astrophysics. The title of the project, Deep-Time Probe, Investigations in Light-Architecture, explores the use of an optically active-SETI experiment that centers on the thematic of time, vision, and movement through space. The realm of architecture was the digital glue that united the varied disciplines. The core of the project is broken down into three intrinsically linked components—data representation—collection, storage, and modulation; the Project Mission Wall; and the resultant Light Architecture or Deep-Time Probe. A small team of architecture students under the direction of one architecture faculty member designed the Mission Wall while the Robotics Department provided CNC machinery to digitally mill and fabricate its components. This same team assembled the 40’x60’x15’ structure in one day. The site of the launch created an adequate interface for the public art structure at the scale of an urban park. The scale of the Mission Wall addressed a variety of places, paces, and scales that mediated between the laser, the context of the surrounding plaza, and pedestrian and vehicular circulation, all while concealing the laser from direct view. The Mission Wall served three functions. It provided a housing for the Deep-Time Probe laser. It created windows and scaffolding for lighting. Moreover, it established a series of “View Corridors” that provided the onlooker with multiple vantage points and thus multiple-readings of information as architecture. Nearly fifty “Time Probe Reporters” gathered information through oral interviews. In addition to messages linked to the interviews, the Deep-Time Probe contained verbal and graphic information, images depicting the design and fabrication processes. At the time of the launch, the design team digitized, specially formatted, converted, and modulated the data into a special high-powered laser that was “launched” into space. An advanced civilization in the universe could theoretically receive and decode this information. The Deep-Time Probe project visualized the strengths of each profession, fostered the creative aspects of each team member, and resulted in a unique and dynamic experience. The deep time probe is right now passing through the Oort Cloud, the debris left over from the formation of our Sun and planets, present as a halo surrounding our solar system . . . a distance of nearly 1.5 trillion miles.
keywords Interdisciplinary Design Research, Information Visualization, and Fabrication
series ACADIA
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