Urban Stargazing

One new idea for every day in 2011. We're talking big, small, local, international, in action and on the drawing board. Here's today's -- what's yours?

Oscar Lhermitte is recreating the stars.

It's no small task, the French designer admits, but after noticing the disappearance of a few notable star formations because of big city lights, he knew it was time to create a few of his own.

"Over time, society has developed a complex rhythm that demands we live in an environment artificially lit twenty-four hours a day preventing us from experiencing the natural lights coming from billions of light years away, shining and twinkling as soon as the Sun sets to the west," he writes.

From his frustration comes the Urban Stargazing project, which use nylon line, polyethylene braid, fibre optic and solar-powered LEDs to recreate existing constellations and add a few new ones that he says narrate old and contemporary myths about his current hometown, London.

The artist and a few group members have installed 12 groups of "stars" throughout the city using a telescopic catapult to fix the structure on top of trees.

He writes that the formations can only be seen by the naked eye after the sun sets.

Lhermitte also released a map, which shows constellations and their coordinates so that participants can go on stargazing walks by entering the latitude/longitude into a GPS or mapping application. All you have to do when you arrive at the indicated destination is look up.

See more information and download a map on his website.

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton