During the holiday break between Christmas and New Year’s Day, the exterior of Goldsmith Hall underwent a facelift of sorts, as a permanent sundial materialized on its south façade.
The sundial, designed by alumnus Jeff Barajas during a studio taught by Assistant Professor Samantha Randall, was contrived to honor the life and achievements of Francisco “Paco” Arumí-Noé, who passed away in September 2005. The design by Barajas was chosen from 21 entries submitted in 2006.
The memorial utilizes both glass and steel rods to display the hours of the day. It is spanned by four longer stainless steel rods that are traced by the sundial's shadow on the solstices, equinoxes, and on the day which Dr. Arumí-Noé was born. The steel rods cast darker shadows to indicate the current time as well as the shadow of noon. The glass rods cast more subtle shadows that indicate the hours 8-11 a.m. and 1-4 p.m. by their relationship to the darker noon shadow.
When Dr. Arumí-Noé first began teaching at The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture in 1971, he was decades ahead of the curve. Long before skyrocketing energy prices brought widespread public attention to the true social and environmental costs of excessive energy use, Paco instilled in his students the importance of designing effectively with rather than in opposition to "Mama Natura." His pioneering research led to cutting-edge developments in energy analysis and efficiency standards for buildings, and under his leadership, the school established what is now the master's degree program in sustainable design.