In planning a project for the Fall of 2014, we want to leverage the appeal of the Apocalypto Project but make it original. We also want to one-up the wow factor a bit. At this time, this is the description of the project:
In collaboration with The Long Now Foundation, our students will be researching the dilemmas our society currently faces, postulating research-based alternate futures based on how humanity responds to those challenges, then creating a mechanical manifestation of these alternate futures. Our current thinking is that this will be a 3-dimensional apparatus that is viewable from 360° and purposed for a foyer type space.
After sending the Executive Director of The Long Now Foundation a letter and a MechaniCard as an offering of good faith, our initial collaborative conversations with the foundation are going well. We hope to integrate their work and vision into the project as much as possible. On the engineering side, I’ve been brainstorming for a while, and scribbling in my notebook:
While visiting the Boston Museum of Science, I saw a kinetic art piece that used a clock escapement called a Flying Pendulum. I figured I would try that out. I mocked up a prototype this afternoon and to my surprise, it works!
Here are some thoughts I have about the final piece:
- The rotating cube will be 6 feet x 6 feet x 6 feet.
- Each face of the cube will be filled with student mechanisms (similar to Apocalypto).
- The flying pendulum will be some shiny object (maybe brass?)
- The drive weight will be decorative – perhaps brass plated.
- I may slow down the movement – a half turn per ‘tock’ may be too aggressive.
Thanks for checking-in!