Client: Baylor College of Medicine
Location: Houston, TX, United States
Completion date: Jan 01, 2008
In this project, our designers and sandblasters created 21 large, deep-carved, etched and layered crystal panels that have as their overarching theme the Human Genome Project (in which Baylor participated) and the miracle of science when it meets spirit. The 40-foot-long wall's visual and textual messaging includes a deep honoring of Baylor's mission and values, the celebration of the successful conclusion of its genome research, the institution's long history of accomplishments, and the generosity of its leading donors.
Our goal was to communicate the themes of this project in many "languages": letters (the four initials of the genetic code – T, C, A, G – carved on every panel), words used as graphics (the large, open-type "convergence"), words used to convey meaning (as in Dante's "This the beginning is, this the spark…." and the entries on the timeline of Baylor's history), decorative lettering, photographs rendered in crystal, and artwork, including Eric Zammit's amazing 24,000-piece mosaic "river of life," which depicts the tiling array of a section of Chromosome 12. The wall concludes with an exquisite etching of Lois Greenfield’s Michelangelo-like, life-affirming photograph, "Dancer," illustrating the convergence of science and spirit in the magnificent wholeness of the human being.
This installation resulted from long conversations between the lead designer, the genome scientists at Baylor, and the mosaic artist. All were committed to celebrating not just the donors and the institution, but the amazing beauty of the science behind the Human Genome Project.
Thanks to Baylor’s open-door, collaborative research policy, this 40-foot-long art installation in their research and teaching wing inspires passersby as varied as genetic scientists, researchers, world-renowned teachers, medical students, donors, administrators, and visiting pupils from local schools. Finished Feb 2011