IllumaLens - CODAworx


Submitted by Ray King

Client: Illumina Inc

Location: Stockton, NJ, United States

Completion date: 2023

Project Team


Ray King

Ray King Studio

Art Consultant

John McDaniel


Building Construction

Ryan Hawkins



Futuristic wall-mounted “lens” sculpture commissioned by Illumina Inc — the leading genomic testing innovator — for its worldwide headquarters in La Jolla, CA. When I was approached to explore the idea of creating a work for the lobby, I was intrigued. My work has always been rooted in reoccurring patterns and geometry found in nature, and the subject of our genetic imprint is pretty fundamental to — well — everything! Illumina wanted a unique metaphor that wasn’t just playing to (the obvious) DNA helix. I settled on a geometric tessellation composition where the pattern is very dense at its core, gradually expanding as it emanates out across the vast three-story space. Made of anodized aluminum, dichroic glass and mirrors arranged geometrically, IllumaLens is designed to reflect and project light and color, bringing a multi-hued, ever-changing dynamic to the space. The light refractions change throughout the day as the artwork interacts with sunlight that streams through the windows and, at night, reacts to electric illumination. A central staircase allows viewers to experience the artwork from various levels and vantage points. IllumaLens measures 42’ h x 22’ w x 4” d / 1280cm x 670cm x 101cm.


The intent of this project was to visually interpret and illustrate the mission of Illumina (“to unlock the power of the genome”) and its expanding role in developing and using genomic technology to improve healthcare research globally. The expansive wall presented itself as a blank canvas that needed artistic intervention to animate and engage viewers. I found the scientific concept of the “nuclear sanctum” where DNA and RNA communicate human cells as an apt metaphor for Illumina’s research. The artwork greets visitors to the facility and conveys the growth and diversification of the company in the world.


I was approached by the creative team at Hyperquake on behalf of Illumina to design a bespoke wall-mounted sculpture for the new Executive Briefing Center at Illumina’s headquarters in La Jolla, CA. During my research, I was drawn to the geometric, branching tessellation patterns found in various natural forms, including honeycombs, snakeskin and sunflowers. This naturally occurring geometry spoke to the genetic building blocks of life, while echoing recognizable patterns seen by the naked eye. After exploring multiple variations of this pattern, we embraced the concept of a light-responsive optical lens in an expanding universe, and a visual metaphor that life is a journey of enlightenment.

Additional Information

My art reflects my interest in nature, science, technology and color. I strive to design wondrous, welcoming works of art to enhance public spaces – to make the mundane magical. Ray King Ray King Studio