A traveling exhibition that explored how designers, planners, architects, artists, and scientists harness solar energy in order to save, expand, and extend energy resources. Central to the exhibition was a solar-powered tensile pavilion that not only collected energy and provided shade, but also served as the gnomon of a magnificent sundial marked on the lawn. Visitors could pace the hours and seasons, and walk through time as they explored this sundial. They were invited to compare solar time and clock time in another featured element: a sundial set in the midst of a circle of twelve solar-powered chairs that signaled hours, minutes, and seconds. In this sundial, it was the visitor’s own shadow that marked the hour.
The exhibition opened in 1998 alongside New York’s Central Park in the garden of the former Andrew Carnegie mansion, now the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. In 1999, it traveled to the Smithsonian Institution’s Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
Sara Schechner designed and installed the two featured sundials at each site:
Walk through Time I, a monumental, horizontal sundial for 41°N, 74°W using the 32-foot tall mast of a tensile pavilion as a gnomon.
Analemmatic sundial for 41°N, 74°W, using visitor’s own shadow is used to find the time. Encircled by the twelve solar-powered chairs.
- Walk through Time II, a monumental, horizontal sundial for 39°N, 77°W, using the 30-foot tall mast of a tensile pavilion as a gnomon.
- Analemmatic sundial for 39°N, 77°W, using visitor’s own shadow is used to find the time. Encircled by the twelve solar-powered chairs.
Schechner was also a contributing curator to the exhibition, and leader of associated teacher and family workshops. Lead curator was Lucy Fellowes.