Man-made Sun

Date: 17.4—22.4.18
Institution: Milan Design Week
Location: Milan, IT

Curated by Andrea Caputo and Anniina Koivu

Man-made Sun

Sunny Side Up, a robotic sun developed by studio AATB, proposes a contemporary take on the archaic typology of the sundial. This interactive object embodies the movement of the Sun in real time as the Earth orbits around it. From sunrise to high noon and sunset, Sunny Side Up brings the movement of this celestial body close to the viewer. The robotic sun orbits around a metal rod, casting a shadow and allowing the measurement of time, as well as the viewer’s reconnection with celestial events.

In the age of Anthropocene, Sunny Side Up raises questions on our current disconnect from the planet and circadian rhythms. In a future where cities get more and more polluted, will our current disconnect from starlight and the night sky permeate to daylight and the sun’s position? Similarly, in a world where productivity and work cycles ignore natural rhythms, can this artificial sun serve as a timely reminder of when to start and when to stop?

This man-made sun also raises awareness on the artificial construction of nature and the technological quest to harness it throughout time. The project was first shown during Milan Design Week 2018, as part of the U-JOINTS exhibition curated by Andrea Caputo and Anniina Koivu.

Sunny Side Up is one of the first commissions of newly formed studio AATB, which investigates the potential of robotics to exist outside of the realm of factory floors, operating at the intersection of art, design and technology. The Zurich and Marseille-based studio was founded by Andrea Anner and Thibault Brevet in 2018.

Vera Sacchetti