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“Metric Units for the Solar System (Metre Schematics)” Opening Reception

October 17 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Measurement is not so benign an act – it is inevitably bound up in ideas of judgement and comparison. Of how one length or scale measures-up to another, whether one is more precise or correct, or ultimately better. Measurement is not impersonal—it is a human construct, reflective of our desire to order and control. To break space into a discrete and manageable set of containers, to enumerate and account for each of them individually, and to sum them up as a whole.

How then should we measure beyond the Earth? Do we take our existing Earth-bound metrics with us, or offer other worlds agency in the determination of their own systems and standards?

“Metric Units for the Solar System” is an expanded body of work that considers measurement as a scientific and societal construct informing our daily lives and shaping our perception of the world around us. It explores the fundamental properties of measurement, the physicality of the act of measuring and underscores the philosophical possibility for measures to adapt, evolve, and change.

In her 15 “Earth” meter (50 foot-long) work “Metric Units for the Solar System (Metre Schematics)” installed in Pratt Institute’s ARC building, Morawetz presents a set of meter lengths derived from the characteristics of each planet in our Solar System. Contrasting the length of planetary meters with her own physicality, Morawetz asks us to confront the scale on which the universe operates and our place within it.


Metric Units for the Solar System is an interdisciplinary collaborative project by Sara Morawetz, Darren Engwirda, Joseph Morris, and Mark Rosin. This project is funded by Pratt Institute’s STEAMplant Initiative. This event is sponsored by Pratt Institute’s Academic Senate. Free & open to the public, light refreshments will be served.