This remarkable research, teaching, and treatment facility is dedicated to healing "irreversible" spinal cord injuries. They asked us to create artwork and signage to welcome and inspire paralysis patients and their families, and express gratitude to many major donors who made one neurosurgeon's dream a reality. Art glass plaques, sculptures, and donor-recognition signage were installed throughout the multistory building.
In listening to the story of the Project's multidisciplinary approach and the vital roles played by scientists, research subjects, and donors, we were reminded of a painting by visionary Alex Grey called “Universal Mind Lattice.” It is an energetic portrait of the human body, which Grey depicts as a powerful, infinitely layered and fountaining shower of light. This image speaks of hope, the uncrushable core of our being, the infinite power of our creativity and will, and our connection to all life. Translated into an 8-foot-high crystal sculpture surrounded by an etched crystal sheath of donor names, poetry, and inspirational quotations, it is a visual metaphor for the spinal cord and the enlivening impulses it sends throughout the body. A connected series of luminous crystal dedication and donor recognition are laid out to lead visitors deeper into the building. While highly readable and informative, this unbroken flow of words and lines also expresses the importance of connectivity in all its meanings.
Christina Amri and her team worked with artist Alex Gray, woodworker Terry Holleman, lighting engineer Tim Feldman, and others to create a facility-wide art and messaging installation of a quality and originality to match that of the work performed in this institution.
The main art glass sculpture consists of three separate layers of deep-carved crystal that is edge-lit in multiple colors of neon. It is surrounded by a transparent curved glass sheath, which serves as a protective handrail. This sheath symbolizes the generous embrace of the Project by the philanthropic community. It also echoes the shape and role of the myelin sheath, which encircles our nerves and transmits their signals, transforming our will and intent into action.
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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.