Composed of layers of frosted acrylic, Fish Bellies’ large biomorphic forms draw inspiration from the social and biological diversity of the nearby San Marcos River reflecting parallels between its ecological life and the University’s varied student body. Formally, Fish Bellies mirrors the progression of an abstract school of fish. During the day, the piece’s translucency operates like an ethereal anatomy whereas at night it transforms into a bioluminescent landscape.
Our process begins with extensive research and analysis of the characteristics that make each site unique. We investigate local conditions such as natural systems, cultural touchstones, historical precedents, adjacent communities, and the surrounding architecture and landscape.
Fish Bellies is an organic tableau meant to spark additional interest in the unique biology found on campus. The piece generates a new student landmark inviting people to climb into and on top of the interlocking series of glowing enclosures. The sculpture encourages socialization while respecting individual space. The illuminated compartments form protective rooms that surround the inhabitant with colored light.
Fish Bellies represents a singular integration of monumental acrylic forms and interactive electronics. Embedded in each belly are two touch-sensitive controllers, which allow the public to transform the piece by curating the color and saturation levels of the internal LED lighting.
Fish Bellies was a collaboration between artists, Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock, art consultants Art Artisans, Texas State University, Schneider Structural Engineers and the fabrication team at Creative Machines, Inc. Everyone believed in the same goal to create an interactive piece that encouraged the physical and social dynamic of residents using the courtyard. The collaborative process worked through many iterations including producing full-scale mock-ups tested in the site. Due to the piece’s implicit interactivity, the artists believe that the aesthetic collaboration continues beyond the piece’s installation. They invite community expression by encouraging visitors to design unique light sequences and coordinate patterns.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.
[ manifesto ]
Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
We champion the role of artists in our society. We need artists to provide us with inspiration, creativity, and imagination, and to help us envision a better world.
Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
Art in our public and private spaces helps us fight ordinary buildings, ordinary streets, ordinary cities. We celebrate the extraordinary.
The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.