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Time Zone Exhibition

This project was a collaborative team project that was developed in an exhibit design course at RISD. My teammates Jennifer Joung, Ka Hyun Kim, and I were tasked with developing this exhibit model to be placed in RISD's 'Market Square' park. 

We used our research to define and inform our design decisions throughout the process. 

Location: Market Square

Market Square is a multi-use RISD property that spans the space between the RISD auditorium and Providence's historic Market House. It often hosts student installation work, performances, and Waterfire festivities. 

We were allowed to alter the square in any way we saw fit, although we were asked to make our exhibit memorable and to keep our exhibit's visual language related to our assigned topic. 

Market Square Map.png

Research & References

We began by researching the history and invention of time zones to inform the visual language of our exhibit. 


We discovered that standard time zones were first utilized by railway companies. With growing need for common time zones throughout the 19th century, scientists divided the planet into 24 sections with each section approximately 15 degrees of longitude wide. 


We also noted the concept of the Greenwich Meridian Line which provides a starting point known as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). We wanted our exhibit itself to reflect the complicated and "gerrymandered" lines that define the somewhat arbitrary time zones boundaries. 

Throughout the research process, we discussed the possibility of using the pattern created by "unfolding" a sphere. We thought it  would be a great way to inform the shape of our exhibit and represent the way the Earth's zones are designed.

With this information in mind, I began developing sketches of what our exhibit could look like. 


Visual Ideation


Process and Critique Shots


Here, during a class critique, we are reviewing our first scale model made from scrap cardboard and paper. We wanted to present the time zone research as an "unfolded" sphere with sections shaped like the time zone strips. 


As we developed the shapes of the strips, we decided to include a smaller number of time zone strips in order to tell an interesting story about the specific ones we included. 


As we developed the project further, we began testing out final materials and shapes. We laser cut acrylic panels to form a hollow globe in the center of the square and allowed some of the strips to rise up to create tunnel-like spaces that could be walked underneath. 

The aluminum panels that adorn the square offer a clean presentation of information.

Final Model

In our final layout, we installed large white panels that described specific points of interest we pulled from our research. For example, one discusses the history of China's single time zone (although it spans 5 internationally recognized time regions). 

The globe in the center of the park discusses our project and the history of time zones. 


POV Shots

These photos give a sense of scale and size to a 6' tall person. Every part of our project considered the space we were occupying and how it could be best used. We wanted to allow the park to remain a large open area, but still invigorate the space with our exhibit. We also thought a lot about how differently people move through this specific space and decided not to have a specified entrance and exit. Instead, there are several activity zones that are scattered throughout the square. 

Thank you for viewing. 
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