LMCC Weather Beacon
I made the original idea/plan in Sketchup. It is easy to use and it functions as a great sketch pad. People can quickly see what you want to make but you do not have to go into every detail of what ever you are making. The easy and fun part is now over and I am starting the migration of the piece into Solidworks. Solidworks is great but I am always learning. The piece has four or five rotating wheels that light will be projected behind. There are some major engineering issues that have to be resolved but the most major one is how to have all these rotate and keep the supporting arm completely straight. Flex is bad. After I showed what I had done to Mark, very smart person. He made some suggestions that seemed to make sense. Make the functional mechanism a planetary gear system. Think of it as a all the mechanisms forming a pyramid protruding off the wall. It would be much more stronger then a pipe or rod coming of the wall. Flex would not be such a issue. hypothetically of course. So I threw out several weeks off work and started last week on a new system. It is not finished at all, but the main ideas of the mechanism is coming to light.
Update: I am now rethinking the planetary gear system, but the pyramid structure idea is good. More drawings need to be done to really figure it out.
Click on the image above to view movie.
Erik S. Guzman 2008 -09
The Weather Beacon
This Project will be made possible by the kind generosity of the following programs and institutions and companies.
LMCC's GAPS, Grant for Art in Public Spaces.
Ambient Devices, giving the needed weather information for this project to succeed. "The Ambient Information Network represents one of the largest, if not the largest, datacasting networks in the United States" Alan Reiter, president of Wireless Internet & Mobile Computing
Weather Beacon is a kinetic sculpture that will emit a code of flashing lights, forecasting the weather and will be situated in lower Manhattan.
This weather indicator will merge public wifi, structure, movement, and light through a physical object that invites the public to connect to nature through art.
Dimensions: 8' H x 12'W x 16'D
Project Weather Beacon is made possible, in part, through a grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council with the generous support of The September 11th Fund.
Weather Beacon is a kinetic sculpture that will emit a code of flashing lights, forecasting the weather for a curious public in Lower Manhattan.
This weather indicator will merge public wifi, structure, movement, and light into an object that invites the public to connect to both physical and invisible surroundings through art.
From the days of the original Dutch settlement, to the landfill of oyster shells that expanded the southern tip of the island, weather and harbor activity have been major elements of life in Lower Manhattan. Through modernization, the area has moved away from this history and its close ties to nature. Project Weather Beacon will utilize modern materials and technologies to heighten the present-day viewer's awareness of weather patterns, connecting the public back to nature using modern means. The work will act as a translation tool, or oracle, that allows for the visualization of the invisible forces of nature.
The project will forecast the weather by using the public wifi connection in the area. Weather data will be received and translated into a simple language that will control the project. Being connected to the Internet, the sculpture will act as a beacon for the weather, but could also be used to broadcast stock market information, solar flares from the sun, or traffic on the FDR. Project Weather Beacon can be used to visualize any system in flux. Once the piece is constructed, the information fed to the beacon can be changed to enable different collaborative projects and ways to engage the public throughout the year.
After doing more research the design has changed. The main shape is still present but a lot more glass is present to show the working structure.
Some simple shots placing Project weather beacon in a lower Manhattan environment, Fulton Street market and the sea port.
What will it look like?
Aesthetically, the project mirrors icons of harbor life. Long mast-like poles will extend horizontally from the center of the hull's main structure. Four progressively sized anchors will spin at different speeds along the length of the mast. Light projected from behind the rotating anchors will create an array of different light patterns. The entire structure will be encased by thick shatterproof glass, allowing the viewer to experience the project safely. A weather key that clearly states the meaning of each pattern of lights and rotations will be posted on the outer glass of Project Beacon.