The Astrolabe

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The Astrolabe.

” She sende for him, and he came ;
With him his astrolabe be name,
Which was of fine gold precious
With points and cercles merveilous.
And eke the hevenly figures
Wrought in a boke full of peintures
He toke this lady for to shewe.”

–Gower, 1393

With ancient origins, the astrolabe, of which a modern version is still being used, is an instrument used to solve problems of practical astronomy. Usually made of brass, the astrolabe is a two-dimensional working model of the heavens consisting of two concentric flat disks. One disk, the matter or plate, remains fixed to represent the observer on earth. The other disk can be rotated, and represents the appearance of the celestial sphere at any given moment. The astrolabe was invented in classical Greece, further developed in Islamic Spain, finally reaching the Christian West in the 10th Century. It is beautiful visually, having many uses, all of which required an interactivity of variables — the environment, the seas and stars, and man. It is scientific, educational, well-designed and timeless.

For many years, this logo, based on the astrolabe, represented Interactive Planet, our graphic design and education outreach company whose talents and resources now serve this school. The final logo, with the wolf, comes from a collaborative design effort between students and staff. The wolf image itself was drawn by one of our students and we worked together with other students to tie it all together. The astrolabe embodies our ideals and goals as we educate and guide the students who “pass through our doors”, learn from their endeavors, and go forth into the world to make their own mark. Essentially, we encourage the students to imagine the possibilities and the provide the tools to get there. Meanwhile, the essence of the wolf keeps their feet on the ground, sets a strong moral framework for living and encourages collaboration and stewardship.


(Image source: http://remame.de/34/astrolabe-heaven-of-brass/)

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