The Art of Trajectory: Celestial Mechanics V


Session Title:

  • Matters Mattering: Visualization and Materialization

Presentation Title:

  • The Art of Trajectory: Celestial Mechanics V



  • How time is represented graphically has taken many forms but most commonly as a line. This simple visualization is founded in man’s first drawings and advanced in sophistication in tandem with advances in projectile weaponry which required the additional representation of space. Trajectory, a timeline through a space, is now the standard method of revealing aerial machine movement. Celestial Mechanics is a two-decade research project addressing the need for a multivariant visual system that represents the current realities of aerial traffic management and congestion for better public understanding of the dangers. The unique design challenges of a single display capable of delineating all layers of movement — drones, helicopters, planes, weather balloons, layers of satellites, debris — often begin with the rudimentary tool of showing journey as a line. This paper considers the history, design and eventually art of the trajectory.