Illuminated Arboreal Data Codes


Client: Texas Tech University

Location: Lubbock, TX, United States

Completion date: 2016

Artwork budget: $142,000

Project Team


Koryn Rolstad

Public Art Agent

Texas Tech University


Warren Pope

Warren Pope Design

Industry Resource

Peter Dozal

Aluminum Bronze Fabricators

Industry Resource

Sean Murphy

American Powder Coating

Industry Resource

Shane Mattheson

Terrene, INC.

Industry Resource

Ms. Jo List



‘Illuminated Arboreal Data Codes’ started as groupings of tree like forms ‘growing out of the open space in front of the entryway, three major ‘communication tree groupings’ totaling 13 tree forms, depicting the graphic iconic elements of ‘technology communication circuits’. The groupings include sited degrees of angles, allowing for changes of viewpoints. Inside the ‘end connections’ of each tree branch is a smaller circle housing an interior plate of radiant holographic dichroic nodes, which will change colors and light. White LED up lighting is used for the nighttime viewing, adding another aspect to the gateway feeling of the installation.


This project installation is supported by ancient through modern forms of text language, used by cultures to continue their messages and stories. #1) Cuneiform – one of the most ancient and sophisticated #2) Morse Code – still used today #3) Braille – which opened up a whole world for the visually impaired and assimilated this large culture back into society with dignity #4) Binary – still a used and open code system birthing our forward thrust into communication technology. These images were etched in separate panels, which radiate in and out from the ‘Trees’. Each of the languages can be translated into a ‘story’ that emulates the culture of the College. Students selected the translated quotes, elevating the stakeholdership, ownership, and pride within the public art process that allows communities to connect with the installation.


I envisioned the ability to utilize Texas Tech University’s gateway to the Rawls School of Business as a continuous installation of multiple tree form elements that would be experienced uniquely from various viewpoints, with an interactive component, while supporting the landscape watershed environment of the project site for those who live and contribute to this community environment. My main focus for the ‘Illuminated Arboreal Data Codes’ installation was to give a visual language for this site that is joyful, accessible and acts as a visual identity that ties the educational iconography of communication technology. This arboreal theme can be utilized as a visual compliment by developing an environment where the viewer can experience the installation as a ‘contemplative space’, iconic gateway, and a destination for the college.

Additional Information

This project is a great example of a series of sculpture designed in a larger plaza area as a destination environment. This environment gave a visual voice for the Rawls school of Business Technology and Communication's culture and dynamic education for todays modern world.