“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”
That’s some pretty good advice from one of the most brilliant minds in history, Stephen Hawking.
In a world full of screens, newsfeeds, and GPS, how often do we simply look up and take notice of the complex world around us?
Since the dawn of civilization, humans have been using stars to track seasons, navigate oceans, and tell stories. Constellations were dreamt up over time to bring some order to the infinite number of stars, with each culture through the ages putting their own spin on the meaning and legends attached to them. Like old friends, these pictures and patterns traveled slowly through the night sky, joyfully welcomed with each new season.
This annual journey of constellations never stopped. We just stopped enjoying the show. If you happen to live in a place without much light or air pollution, you can see the same stars that our ancestors saw, and that all people in the Northern Hemisphere can still see if they take the time to look up.
A true labor of love – and science – on all sides, this astronomically correct map of the night sky showcases the profoundly intricate embroidery known as Zardozi.
Once used to adorn the royal robes of ancient Mughal kings, the intricate stitches would announce to onlookers the grandeur of the wearer. Yet, with decades of British rule and the onset of industrialization, demand waned for this delicate style of embroidery. It might have been lost forever, if not for the dedicated Indian artists determined to save it from extinction.
In order to create a wall hanging that is both aesthetically pleasing and a functional map, our product designers needed to make sure that all the constellations were in their proper place. This required the help of a colleague who has extensive scientific knowledge, plenty of design collaboration with the artisans at Zardozi Original, and a total of five revisions before all the constellations were present and accounted for.
The end result, an astronomically correct map of the night sky, was worth all the meticulous adjustments!
The Constellation Wall Hanging displays all four seasons with the North Celestial Pole at its center. You can rotate the map with each season and always know which stars are overhead. Familiar constellations have been carefully hand-stitched with each star represented as a tiny white bead, so you can find your favorite night sky character and easily track its annual journey through the vast universe.
Go ahead. Heed some advice from Stephen Hawking and the generations that came before us. On the next clear night, simply look up and enjoy the spectacular light show. Take comfort in the fact that you are not only seeing the same stars as your ancient ancestors, but the same constellations as our friends an ocean away.