Analemma’s Dilemma

Submitted by Flying Carpet Creative

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Client: Sam Houston State University

Location: Huntsville, TX, United States

Completion date: 2019

Artwork budget: $400,000

Project Team

Artist

Kelly O'Brien

Fyling Carpet Creative

Artist

Patrick Renner

Flying Carpet Creative

Architect

Marie Hoke

Central Houston, Inc.

Overview

A 100 foot long woven stainless steel and mosaic exterior canopy for the student center at Sam Houston State University, made to form an analemma configuration.

Goals

The “analemma” is a figure-8 design that describes the position of the sun relative to any one consistent point on earth over the course of a year. This shape results from the tilt of the earth’s axis of rotation and was the inspiration for our sculpture at Sam Houston State University. Hundreds of woven stainless-steel shapes form a flowing analemma pattern, activating the plaza and providing dappled shade.

Process

Where the form splashes onto an existing brick wall, the stainless components shift into an array of mosaic medallions, designed and executed by collaborator and local artist Dan Phillips. Drawing from his background as a government codebreaker in the 1970’s, Philip’s encoded a puzzle that is imbedded within the colorful mosaic disks. This work, located in the new Lowman Student Center, offers student and faculty a dynamic shelter, with a visual engaging design, and an ongoing conversation about the mystery of patterns and puzzles.