Name, first nameSchatz, Marc-OlivierYear of birth1974eMailmarcemail@example.comUniversityHKBField of Interest / research fieldDesign Research and ReflectionTitle of projectExhibiting Time and its MeasuresAbstractIn 1857 the brand new Republic and Canton of Neuchâtel decided to equip the region with an astronomical observatory in order to provide the local watchmaking industry with the correct time.
The Observatory, founded in 1858, was also asked to organize observatory chronometer trials, whose results would prove the value and reliability of Neuchâtel watches and clocks to international customers.
The Neuchâtel Observatory’s reputation for the precise measuring of time improved in time, and the Observatory became a world-wide reference. For more than a century it was responsible for determining and communicating time through out Switzerland. Just like Greenwich in the UK!
For various political and economical reasons, the institution was dissolved in 2007 and integrated into the University of Neuchâtel and the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM), which now occupies a large part of the Observatory site. Even today, the name of the Neuchâtel Observatory is a synonymous for precise time measurement.
The aim of my master’s project is to develop an exhibition concept which traces the history of the Neuchâtel Observatory. Time and its measurement are the core concepts of my project. I will also focus my approach on the epoch when Neuchâtel was a world-wide reference for chronometry.
Themes to be developed:
• the history of the Observatory within the industrialization context and at the period of first world's fair
• the transmission/communication of time
• chronometric competitions for watchmakers
• time and its measure/measurement
• functions of the various scientific instruments used on the site of the Observatory
“What is time? If no one questions me, I know;
if I want to answer this question, I don’t know it.”
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