Sundials

Interactive and playful sundials--both fixed and portable--are designed for outdoor learning centers,  museums, and the home.
Pacing the Hours
at the Smithsonian Institution

Walk through Time I  (in lower left) was a monumental azimuth sundial for 41°N, 74°W.  It used the 32-foot tall mast of a tensile pavilion as a gnomon.  Shadows on the lawn indicated months and hours, marked by means of colored disks set into the grass. 

 

An Analemmatic Sundial for 41°N, 74°W (visible in the upper right) used the visitor’s own shadow to find the time.  It was encircled by twelve chairs that served as a solar powered clock.

 

Both sundials were designed and Installed in 1998 alongside New York’s Central Park in the garden of the former Andrew Carnegie mansion, now home to the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City.  They were part of the exhibition Under the Sun.

 

In 1999, Under the Sun traveled to Washington, DC, where it was set up in the Smithsonian Institution’s Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Castle on the National Mall.  For that show, I created Walk through Time II and an Analemmatic Sundial for 39°N, 77°W.

Bird Sundial

Designed for 40°N, this altitude sundial may hang in a garden or window.  To find the time, the user rotates the bird until sunlight comes through the hole on the back of the bird and falls directly on the hour scale marked inside the bird's tummy.

Analemmatic Sundial for the Greater Newark Conservancy

This playful, interactive, analemmatic sundial was designed for children to find the time by their own shadows. Created for 41°N, 74°W, the sundial has an echo wall that serves as seating for an outdoor classroom in the solar alcove of the Prudential Outdoor Learning Center.  It is situated in the gardens of the Greater Newark Conservancy's Urban Environmental and Ecological Center at its landmark Prince Street site.  The sundial was part of a project that transformed a debris‑filled, brownfield, vacant lot into a park-like setting with ten thematic gardens and outdoor, environmental classrooms serving low-income youth, grades pre‑K through 12, from Newark and surrounding urban areas. Newark, NJ, 2004
 

© 2014 by Sara J. Schechner, Altazimuth Arts. Proudly created with Wix.com

Under the Sun: An Outdoor Exhibition

Aerial view of two sundials at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City.