Constellation

In August 2010, Luke Stern and I entered Constellation in the Sukkah City competition.


The text of our proposal read as follows.
On a typical night in New York City, most constellations are missing: light pollution is an unfortunate reality in today’s cities, resulting in bright but starless night. During the 10 days of Sukkah City, we propose a series of unique installations -- Constellation -- that will regenerate the missing stars.

Constellation is a modular system of lightweight elements constructed of contemporary schach: composite products comprised of renewable or recycled celluloid products. These sustainable building materials reinterpret the Sukkah in a contemporary context. Constellation’s eleven unique components can be flexibly assembled into a nearly infinite variety of enclosures, each of which satisfy the Sukkah’s constraints and creating a remarkably fluid interior space.

Each morning, a team of volunteers will assemble Constellation into a new configuration: the ancient patterns of the night sky will govern its formal evolution. The installation will reveal, through a precisely aligned aperture, the spot in the sky where specific stars were once visible. These missing stars will be made visible by harnessing the city's excess luminance to backlight a pinhole screen.

By recreating the missing stars, Constellation will bring the delight and wonder of the cosmos back to the heart of New York City. Unlike online maps and global positioning systems, these ancient navigational beacons do more than just identify our coordinates: they help us contemplate our place in the universe.
This proposal was an evolution of our Master of Architecture thesis project, Fabricating Sustainable Concrete Elements.