Category Archives: Sather-Tower

Campanile Media


Sather Tower (Campanile), UC Berkeley

Link to Photo Album on Flicker


Link to Video Playlist on YouTube


Interpretive Projects

Sather way with concept art for the Sather Tower as dormitories

In order to ensure continued interaction with Sather Tower, we plan to create five interpretive projects that can integrate and showcase the tower in important ways. Sather Map Mobile is an augmented reality map app. Users walk around the campus and are prompted to look at the tower from different vantage points and think about what it means to them or snap an inspiring photo of its stature. Users are able to upload video, photo, text, or audio recordings during their explorative mapping of the campus and rumination on the tower, and this data is captured in the mobile cloud as well as in a website. This way the users of the mobile app and the web version have access. This project incorporates multivocality because it captures the ideas about the tower that every user has and posts them publicly. Campanile ReIMAGinED focuses on the history of the tower and the way that we can think about it in new ways today. It is a re-photo app that enables users to overlay historical photographs of structures around the campus. For example, a user could overlay the iron framework of Sather Tower onto its granite exterior for an interesting mix of old and new. Users could also place Bacon Hall in its original location to think about how the spatial relationships of buildings have changed over time. The Campanile Replicas project helps people think about the tower from different material standpoints. In this project, the Campanile can be reconstructed as a model out of wood, jelly, or other substances. People can shrink the scale of the tower for a more personal experience with it. The Campanile will be made into a miniature trophy as well for different departments around campus to compete for. Departments win by creating the best replica of the tower out of a unique material. This engages the academic community in a fun competition that reveals the intricacies of different materials. Berkeley Beats is a radio app that lets users listen from anywhere 24 hours a day to riveting talks from esteemed faculty at UC Berkeley. This is an engagement with the acoustics of the site and allows people around the world to connect to Sather Tower as a symbol of UC Berkeley’s prominence in the global academic world. Carillon Hero allows users to actually play the carillon bells. Users can play a Guitar Hero style game where notes travel down the screen and must be hit in time, or they can listen to past songs performed by campus carillonists. This is an attempt to engage people more intimately with the bells that they may hear often but don’t get a chance to play. All of these projects are linked in the way that they tie our themes together and open up the interpretation of the heritage of Sather Tower to the process of multivocality and consultation with a diverse group of constituents who have a stake in this site. We hope that this interpretive plan reignites the excitement about the Campanile that we as a community have and illuminates that ways to continue its significance and prominence in the eyes of Berkeley, the Bay Area, and the world.


Campanile With view of Bay

Sather Tower interacts with many themes in unique ways. It is first and foremost the keeper of time on campus, marking the hours as they pass with a resonant chime. This is why we thought a lot about time and its passage as a theme for the tower. This chime connects with the idea of acoustics. The acoustic theme addresses the way the performances, songs, and spirit of the grand carillon of the tower echoes across the Bay Area and creates an ambiance of cheerfulness and campus spirit throughout the day and during special events. The tower currently stores fossils being researched and so is an active component of that research. The tower was used as a place for physics experiments too during the 1920s and so is tied to this theme of research in this way as well. In the towers prominence we find the final main theme: physicality and spatial relations. Sather Tower is a large, significant structure and demands attention because of this. It occupies a huge amount of space in our visual field as we walk around campus. One can see it in most places around Berkeley and this makes it important and noticeable. We plan to take action to maintain the site as a significant piece of heritage in the short and long term. In the short term we aim to create our mobile apps that emphasize the interaction with the tower for its users. In the long term it is important to continue to maintain the tower physically. We also realize it is important to create more events centralized around the tower so that it is affiliated with more activities and spirituous events on campus. All of these activities help to enliven the campus climate and to instill the prominence of the Campanile in the hearts of community members and visitors to the site.


Campanile Night Life

The Campanile is a site of significance because it engages with the community and with the world on so many levels: from its sheer physicality up to the symbolic nature of its image as the face of UC Berkeley. This symbolism helps to create a brand, an identity of what UC Berkeley means to the world: academic excellence, rigor, and the quest for the truth and understanding of fundamental world problems. The tower is meaningful because it provides an auditory experience throughout one’s day in Berkeley, the bells can be heard throughout the East Bay, and on special occasions creative lighting systems are projected onto its face. Our interpretive plan is a means of bringing all of these significant markers of the tower’s importance to the user, the student, the community member, and so forth, so that they can see it, but also so that their voice can be heard. This approach of multivocality emphasizes community participation. Community participation includes attendance at important Campanile events like the Campanile 100 where its 100 year birthday was celebrated, or in feedback about the mobile apps we plan to design around Campanile heritage. Our interpretive plan includes the maintenance of the site as a physical structure, the continued tradition of hosting events related to important time marks such as centennials, and raising awareness about the tower’s history and present-day importance through our mobile apps, this website, and our interpretive plan document posted to this website. These are all ways that the community can engage with the Campanile, to learn more and explore, and to see what aspects resonate most with them. The tower is after all, property of the campus, but it is also for the larger community and the world. And it is a representative statute to the pursuit of higher learning. As such, it is an icon that anyone in the world can interact with and identify with. With this website and our mobile technologies too, indeed anyone in the world can interact with Sather Tower.


The Jane Sather Tower

The Campanile is a young structure, but it has an interesting history. Our project looks at how the tower was constructed and the economic and physical requirements behind this. We explore various issues that arose in its construction and planning, like the beginning of World War I. The tower has seen both bright and challenging days, and has been the host of many events commemorating the campus community and leadership within it. The Campanile is a 307 ft. tall, majestic tower centrally located on the UC Berkeley campus. It is relevant today because it keeps time and chimes it on the hour. The tower provides aesthetic appeal as it has musical performances multiple times per day. It also serves as a symbol of UC Berkeley pride and diligence in the pursuit of cutting edge knowledge and research. For these reasons it is of historical and contemporary importance. But the tower itself would mean nothing without the many interest groups affiliated with it. These people include students, faculty, staff, researchers, engineers, maintenance workers, receptionists, elevator operators, tourists and more. This section of our project looks closer at what it means to have such a diverse constituency, and how we can think of engaging all of them in the maintenance and celebration of Sather Tower as an object of contemporary social, political, economic, and cultural importance. Consultation includes feedback through interpretive apps that allow users to explore the ways that the tower is a vessel of excellence and a symbol of UC Berkeley that can bring pride and inspire awe. Groups can be tied together across the spaces of time and location in thinking of the tower as the centerpiece of Berkeley’s campus, the beacon atop it shining to illuminate the present and future possibilities that this institution enlivens in the hearts of its students, community members, and the world.