Proposal for a Weatherium, 1979
Inspired by the Mapparium, a three-story tall stained glass globe at the Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston, and influenced by Buckminster Fuller’s Geoscope, I proposed a Weatherium, a space to experience live satellite weather data. This predated, by many years, the introduction of live satellite imagery broadcasts. The Weather Channel was founded in 1982 and live satellite imagery was not integrated into television weather until 1986. (Wide use of the internet to stream video came after Youtube’s introduction at 2005.) Weather, the direction of fronts and winds, were indicated by arrows on diagrams and awkward gestures. I wanted to see the realtime world sky.
The space was conceived of as a spherical projection volume, dedicated to weather satellite data, to be viewed both internally and externally. The artist and architect Jay Mark Johnson collaborated on the project to propose a pavillion at the 1984 World’s Fair to be held in New Orleans. The building, as proposed, consisted of four major elements: the sphere, a circular reflecting pool base, a vertical circulation block and the cul-de-sac shaped runways.
Later versions proposed an interior black box theater. These renderings (by Richard Hollander) depict a dodecahedron structure; twelve pentagonal screens paired with twelve interlocked video projectors.