Designer rescues stars from light pollution

Frustrated by the lack of visible constellations in his light-polluted hometown of London, Oscar Lhermitte decides to make his own.

Starhenge: Designer Oscar Lhermitte's invented constellation "The Ring" is one of several that reconnect city slickers with the mysteries of the night sky. Oscar Lhermitte

Oscar Lhermitte wants to give city dwellers back their stars.

With his project "Urban Stargazing," the London-based product designer and graduate of the Royal College of Art has craftily used LEDs, fiber optics, nylon line, and giant slingshots to beat back light pollution and reconnect people with the aeons-old mysteries of the night sky. His "triangulated structures" stand in for the constellations that have fired human imagination for so long but that are now so often drowned out in metropolitan areas.

Lhermitte and his team put up 12 of the fake star patterns in London last summer, and though they've since been taken down, he tells Crave he's reinstalling his invented constellation "The Brick" for a one-night stand tonight. He's also in negotiations with various municipalities over installing new pieces that are strung between buildings rather than trees.

Lhermitte hopes to create awareness and inspire debate about the issue of light pollution. For a look at the project, whip out your telescope and point it at our gallery.

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