A swing-powered shade structure that casts animated shadows, including 3D:
STATUS: Gnomon had a great run at Burning Man. Next stop: Kendall Square MIT/T plaza, Cambridge, MA, dates TBD.
Profuse thanks to the teams:
Design & slotimation tech by yours truly. Comments, suggestions: welcome✉ .
A structure that casts a meaningful shadow, for example, the blade of a sundial or the tip of an obelisk. In the original Greek, "gnomon" (γνώμων) means "one who discerns or examines". When you swing forward on Gnomon, the shadow skull turns to examine you.
It's my working name for a method to coax animated images from komorebi-like shadow phenomena.
The pattern of light made by sunshine filtering through the leaves of a tree.
Instead of a tree, we filter light through two or more perforated panels to produce a pattern of light on the ground. Usually the perforations take the form of variable-width slots; in Gnomon they're cut out of plate aluminum and steel. As the sun (or a panel) moves, the filtration of light changes. We optimize the shape and size of all the perforations so that the filtration morphs through a sequence of images.
The sun is a spatially extended light source, so any shadow it produces is slightly blurred. When optimizing the perforation pattern, we exploit solar blurring to mix different amounts of light and shadow, much like mixing black and white paint to produce shades of gray.
Moiré is a different phenomenon based on beating -- the perceived interference between two periodic patterns of slightly offset phase or frequency. If you ask for a beating, the slotimation optimization will sometimes give you moiré. But usually there's no periodicity and the slots run parallel to the direction of motion, unlike moiré.
There's no shadow to animate, but Gnomon still entertains: The swings mechanism is also a coupled harmonic oscillator. If you sit passively on one swing and have a friend swing on the other, the mechanism will transfer energy from your friend to you, until you are swinging and she is idled. Then it will transfer it back. On a windless day, the energy can transfer back and forth several times.
From centimeters to tens of meters.
Older project updates & photos:
TEST of design revision 91
BUILD of design revision 91
Design revision 91
Design revision 90
Design revision 89
Design revision 88
Design revision 87
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Design revision 85
Design revision 84 (Generic brand of fluconazole):
Milestone 2: 1/4 scale model (design revision 83)
photo shows structural parts only
Design revision 83:
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Design revision 81:
Design revision 80:
Milestone 1: Functional 1/8 scale model in E-flute cardboard.