Design Urban Design Secret Wind Patterns Revealed by Kinetic Facade (Video) By Kimberley Mok Writer McGill University Cornell University Kimberley Mok is a former architect who covered architecture and the arts for Treehugger starting in 2007. our editorial process Twitter Twitter Kimberley Mok Updated October 11, 2018 ©. Charles Sowers Share Twitter Pinterest Email Design Tiny Homes Architecture Interior Design Green Design Urban Design © Charles Sowers On older buildings, it's not too uncommon to see the crowning touch of an ornamental weather vane -- a rotation device which indicates the wind's direction. But what happens when a bunch of weather vanes are put together on the same surface? That's the question that American artist Charles Sowers answers with Windswept, a kinetic installation of 612 aluminium weather vanes placed on the facade of San Francisco's Randall Museum -- and revealing surprising results, as you can see in this video from Dezeen. As you can see, the spinning blades don't uniformly point in the same direction as one might expect, but rather show smaller diverse patterns and paths of the breeze. Says Sowers: Windswept seeks to transform a mundane and uninspired architectural façade (the blank wall of the theatre) into a large scale aesthetic/scientific instrument, to reveal information about the interaction between the site and the wind. © Charles Sowers © Charles Sowers © Charles Sowers Our ordinary experience of wind is as a solitary sample point of a very large invisible phenomenon. Windswept is a kind of large sensor array that samples the wind at its point of interaction with the Randall Museum building and reveals the complexity and structure of that interaction. © Charles Sowers © Charles Sowers A knowledge and understanding of local patterns of wind, weather and water flows make up what some call "ecological literacy" (there's even a simple test you can take). And while most modern buildings don't reflect or register these contextual facts in their design, it's encouraging to see some synthesizing science with architecture to make a bioregional awareness more evident to all. More over at Charles Sowers' website and the Randall Museum.