Challenge Five: Starry Night

by baltringer

Since more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas and eighty percent of the American population lives in urban areas, communing with nature is rare. In many cities, light pollution is so severe that viewing the stars in the night sky, let alone the milky way, is impossible. Looking up at the clear sky and seeing the full extent of the cosmos in the night sky for the first time is a mystical experience for many people. The experience of gazing at the stars is an innately human one and the experience transgresses all cultural boundaries in that all will likely agree that this experience is inherently awe-inspiring. With this in mind, our product contains multiple synchronized laser projectors to display various images of the night sky on a ceiling. We will use the Stellarium software in order to generate live maps of the night sky which will continuously update to be in sync with what is actually above. The use of multiple projects would facilitate a high-definition live rendering of the night sky and its constellations. Lastly, potential uses of our product range from relaxation rooms to personal bedrooms. According to core affect theory, our product will produce an affective response on the right-side of the circumplex structure, inciting pleasant emotions of fascination and admiration. With Desmet and Hekkert’s aesthetic experience in mind, the display of the milky way will cause a distinct aesthetic impression of beauty that will generate a sense of awe. Our product will also create meaning for the user through because the display will give the user a sense of awe that is connected to an innate curiosity in the universe. Additionally, the user will likely emotionally appraise our product in relation to their current mood and situation. For instance, if the user chooses to put the display on their bedroom ceiling, the user will experience a deep sense of connection with nature right before they sleep. This experience is akin to going camping in a remote area and gazing at the night sky before falling asleep. We fundamentally believe that this simple but profound experience should be more convenient for the modern city-dweller. https://youtu.be/e8SlSg-eqNc

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