Follow an epic 10km sculpture trail through our Solar System – and reconsider what it means to live life on Earth.

Our Place in Space brings our solar system down to Earth – and sends us soaring into the stars to find new perspectives on our planet. Created by artist Oliver Jeffers with scientist Professor Stephen Smartt and creative partners, this immense sculpture trail will be installed for everyone to explore in Northern Ireland and Cambridge – and will be supplemented with a huge programme of digital events and learning activities, open to everyone and entirely free.

From creating a star to writing a symphony for the universe, from inventing a new form of transport to connecting with space watchers in Vietnam and Iraq, Our Place in Space will ensure you never look at our solar system in the same way again. Together, we’ll explore what it means to live on Earth in 2022, and we’ll consider how we might better share and protect our planet in future.

Us and Them – together?

For centuries, we’ve defined ourselves by who we are and by who we’re not. Which side we choose, on what ground we stand, for whom and what we fight. A human story that lives merely in human minds. But with distance comes perspective – and what might happen to our perspective if we’re able to look back at Earth from space?

Our Place in Space is a playful experiment that asks: What’s the difference between ‘Us’ and ‘Them’? Which side are we on: are we ‘Us’ or are we ‘Them’? And if we look at ourselves from the vastness of outer space – alone on our tiny planet, the only one that can harbour life – then should there be any ‘sides’ at all?

Our Place in Space is centred on an epic-scale model of the solar system designed by Oliver Jeffers – and created as a sculpture trail stretching 10 kilometres through our landscape. You can walk the trail in Derry–Londonderry, Divis and the Black Mountain in Belfast, Cambridge, and the Ulster Transport Museum and North Down Coastal Path, always for free.

Our Place in Space is both a visitor attraction and an immersive learning experience. You can explore it from anywhere in the UK via our interactive augmented-reality (AR) app, and a far-reaching programme of learning activities and special virtual events.

Our Place in Space is created by a team led by the Nerve Centre, Northern Ireland’s leading creative media arts centre, and includes artists Oliver Jeffers and Die Hexen, Professor Stephen Smartt from the Astrophysics Research Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, National Museums NI, NI Science Festival, Big Motive, Taunt, Microsoft, Jeffers and Sons, University of Cambridge, Dumbworld, Live Music Now, Little Inventors and Urban Scale Interventions. It’s co-commissioned by UNBOXED and Belfast City Council, with location partners including Derry City & Strabane District Council, the National Trust, Cambridge City Council and Ards & North Down Borough Council.

Get involveD!

Whether you’re a child or a grown-up, whether you’re experiencing it in person or online, there’ll be multiple ways for you to take part in Our Place in Space – from STEAM learning activities to in-person and digital events for all. We’ll be announcing the programme in the coming months: for details, watch this Space

Credits

Created by Nerve Centre, Oliver Jeffers, Die Hexen, Professor Stephen Smartt, National Museums NI, NI Science Festival, Big Motive, Taunt, Microsoft, Jeffers and Sons, University of Cambridge, Dumbworld, Live Music Now, Little Inventors and Urban Scale Interventions

Commissioned by Belfast City Council as part of UNBOXED

Key information

When

Spring to autumn 2022

Where

Derry–Londonderry
Divis & the Black Mountain, Belfast 
Cambridge
Ulster Transport Museum & the North Down Coastal Path

Suitable for

All ages

Admission

Free

Trail