March 21, 2014

Assuming a Cosmic Perspective

Architect Eero Saarinen said, “Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context—a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.”

You can broaden the context of this advice. There’s our planet Earth (one of countless planets), the Solar System around our Sun (one of countless stars), the Milky Way Galaxy (one of countless galaxies), and ultimately, the Universe. Each realm blends into the next, extreme in scale, scope—mystery. The fact that I exist within this cosmic context-at-large feels unnerving, overwhelming, and, at the same time, privileged—lucky to be a part of something wonderful.

Astronomers Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson pose the ultimate wonder in their respective TV series Cosmos. The words they use—to genuinely declare and encourage this wonder—are humbling and hopeful statements, elegantly expressed, like the Universe:

“The atoms and molecules in your body are traceable to the crucibles in the centers of stars… We knew that we are stardust in the middle of the twentieth century, that connects us to the universe like no other fact. That’s beautiful.”
—Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astronomer and Author
Host of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (2014)

“There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”
—Carl Sagan, Astronomer and Author
Host of Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (1980)

A digital slice of the cosmic perspective

Download the wallpaper

Compressed folder contains display sizes for desktop, including iPhone and iPad, plus sizes for retina display.

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See related projectThe Shawshank Resolutions: Digital wallpaper inspired by the film “The Shawshank Redemption”

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