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Burj Shadow Project

Earth rotates around the world's tallest building

Burj Shadow Project

Earth rotates around the world's tallest building

The Burj Shadow is a scientific research project whose first outcome is a time-lapse video revealing the rotation of the Earth by tracking Burj Khalifa’s shadow. The aim of the project is was to produce an educational video encouraging greater understanding of the rotation of the earth and of our positioning within the solar system.

The video, following the rotation of the world’s longest shadow cast by a man-made structure, was recorded from 700 meters up on the Burj Khalifa, using a custom-made rotation device that followed the movement of the building’s shadow from sunrise to sunset. A DSLR took a photo every 20 seconds and automatically adjusted the exposure throughout the day, with the result that the film encouraged viewers to see the Earth rotate around the shadow, rather than vice versa – an alternative to seeing the sun move across the sky.

Team Members

Concept: Roberto Casati (ENS EHESS PSL)

Project Design: Roberto Casati (ENS EHESS PSL) and Goffredo Puccetti (NYU Abu Dhabi)

Project Implementation: Goffredo Puccetti (NYU Abu Dhabi)

Engineering: Matt Karau (NYU Abu Dhabi) and students Koh Terai, Vassily Rudchenko (NYU Abu Dhabi)

Funding: PSL-DIAL 2016-2018

In an interview, Roberto Casati, who led the Burj Shadow project, shared that he got the idea while observing the movement of shadows casted by the roof vents seen outside his window. As an experiment, Casati took pictures that captured the rotation of the shadows, but fixing the position of the shadow in the photo frame. The result was a series of photographs that gave the impression that the shadows were standing still, and the landscape was rotating instead.

The project team chose Burj Khalifa as the vantage point as it is the tallest building in the world. The taller the building, the more pronounced is the movement of the tip of the shadow. Additionally, the taller the building, the greater the area of the Earth rotating under the shadow.

The Burj Shadow project, part of Dubai Global Grad Show 2017, was featured at the Dubai Design Week at Dubai Design District, an exhibition that highlights innovative designs and technologies addressing social and environmental concerns and presents itself as a amazing example of how a good idea can turn into an innovative and inspiring project.

Burj Shadow Project

Earth rotates around the world's tallest building

Designers
Burj Shadow Project Team
Discipline
Experimental
Year
2017

The Burj Shadow is a scientific research project whose first outcome is a time-lapse video revealing the rotation of the Earth by tracking Burj Khalifa’s shadow. The aim of the project is was to produce an educational video encouraging greater understanding of the rotation of the earth and of our positioning within the solar system.

The video, following the rotation of the world’s longest shadow cast by a man-made structure, was recorded from 700 meters up on the Burj Khalifa, using a custom-made rotation device that followed the movement of the building’s shadow from sunrise to sunset. A DSLR took a photo every 20 seconds and automatically adjusted the exposure throughout the day, with the result that the film encouraged viewers to see the Earth rotate around the shadow, rather than vice versa – an alternative to seeing the sun move across the sky.

In an interview, Roberto Casati, who led the Burj Shadow project, shared that he got the idea while observing the movement of shadows casted by the roof vents seen outside his window. As an experiment, Casati took pictures that captured the rotation of the shadows, but fixing the position of the shadow in the photo frame. The result was a series of photographs that gave the impression that the shadows were standing still, and the landscape was rotating instead.

The project team chose Burj Khalifa as the vantage point as it is the tallest building in the world. The taller the building, the more pronounced is the movement of the tip of the shadow. Additionally, the taller the building, the greater the area of the Earth rotating under the shadow.

The Burj Shadow project, part of Dubai Global Grad Show 2017, was featured at the Dubai Design Week at Dubai Design District, an exhibition that highlights innovative designs and technologies addressing social and environmental concerns and presents itself as a amazing example of how a good idea can turn into an innovative and inspiring project.

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