Archive for October, 2008

October 31st, 2008

Longitude Dial

The former curator of Harvard University’s Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, William Andrewes, has  become a “dialist,” or maker of sundials. His idea is to base the dial on an unusual type of map, and to center the map on the very spot where the dial will stand. The map’s meridians of longitude serve as the sundial’s hour lines, creating a union of time and space for that particular location—something no dialist or clockmaker had ever before achieved.

An inspiration for Andrewes’ Longitude Dial was a 1610 map by Nuremberg mathematician Franz Ritter (below, thanks Smithsonian website). It placed his city at the center, so that the meridians of longitude emanating from the North Pole could also serve as the hour lines of a Nuremberg sundial.

Article on Andrewes by Dana Sobel at

October 30th, 2008

One-Day Poem Pavilion

A project by Jiyeon Song

Using a complex array of perforations, the One Day Poem Pavilion‘s surface allows light to pass through creating shifting patterns, which–during specific times of the year–transform into the legible text of a poem. The specific arrangements of the perforations reveal different shadow-poems according to the solar calendar.