In Fields of Friends - CODAworx

In Fields of Friends

Client: Pittsburgh Department of City Planning

Location: Pittsburgh, PA, United States

Completion date: 2022

Artwork budget: $150,000

Project Team

Creative Project Management

John Grant

Public Art Services

Structural Engineer

Nick Geurts



The sculpture—an architectural folly in the landscape—is suggestive of gentle amusement park rides, park bench hangs, and lazy afternoons, creating a landmark and a gathering place overlooking Frick Park’s Riverview Hill. Each of the three back-to-back benches rotates 120°, allowing, for example, an intimate conversation or a meditative view of the landscape. The cable and spring-mounted canopy sways on windy days.

Riverview Hill, Frick Park, Pittsburgh, PA
15’ x 13’ x 13’
Painted steel, stainless steel


In Fields of Friends is a participatory, kinetic, iconic artwork overlooking Frick Parks’ Riverview Hill. It is a respite, a destination, and a place to meet.


Geller’s process always begins with stakeholder and community engagement which could include learning about the area's history, gaining insight into the community’s vision for the site, and brainstorming about what would enrich and bring together their diverse community.

John Grant (Public Art Services) provided design development and fabrication services for the structure and installation. Nick Geurts (Yetiweurks) provided design and structural engineering services.

Additional Information

In his public art practice, Matthew Geller’s participatory sculptures become one of the building blocks that make a space a destination. As such, the work activates the site and promotes interaction among visitors, often creating intimate moments in a singularly public space. Part of his work’s success is that it is physically experiential: viewers understand that there is a place for themselves in it. His sculptures enable moments of respite and delight, befitting the site's functional and visual context. He purposefully uses materials from the everyday environment creating a level of connection to the familiar while highlighting elements of awe and beguilement. The idea is to surprise while fostering the sense of an inclusive community around an unlikely object or location, creating a micro public square or landmark. By considering behavioral design and incorporating dynamic elements activated by people and changes in the weather, the resulting work is in constant flux. Ultimately, the artwork’s goal will be to engender a sense of wonder, enhancing the community and visitor experience.