Solar Architecture: Landscape and Ritual

Booklet of collected research and source material
for The Green Sun, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Atelier FAS Gallery, 20 September - 27 October 2019
curated by Ricky Yanas and Kristen Neville Taylor.

The global adoption of active and passive solar technologies is not only a political and technological problem but a literary one. The sun is a medium-sized star around which the Earth revolves. Its existence is responsible for everything we will ever know and be. To use the sun’s energy effectively and meaningfully, we must recognize its cultural authority.

Past cultures felt responsible for the sun’s behavior. Egyptian kings walked endless circles within their temples to bring the sun out of an eclipse. The ancient Greeks believed the sun drove in a chariot across the sky and so every year sacrificed a chariot and four horses by throwing them into the sea. Today we use the sun to dry our laundry and tan our skin. We join each other in rituals to watch it set and stay up all night to watch it rise. How do we connect with the sun in the same way?

In building architecture and landscape, a design solution becomes more specific and vital as the context of the design problem expands. This book is intended to be a useful reference for that process by offering a sense of the sun’s range in cultural production.