Shadow Garden - CODAworx


Location: Denton, TX, United States

Completion date: 2022

Project Team


Matthew Ritchie

Structural Engineer

CRAFT | Engineering Studio

Digital Fabrication

Sheehan Wachter

Simaxiom LLC


Desert Metal Works


This project involved a new sculpture to be located on the grounds of the College of Visual Arts and Design (CVAD) at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX. Shadow Garden tells the story of chaotic behavior exhibited in mapped mathematical constructs as a static gesture of a point in time. It represents an artist’s vision of a mathematical phenomena called the Henon Attractor that creates a structural engineering challenge for its dynamic expression. The scope of the work involved the structural analysis of the sculpture itself and associated foundation.


The goal of this project from an analytical standpoint was to assist in telling of the story without interfering in the story. There is a clear form relative to a Henon mapping that exists as a dynamic representation of chaotic behavior. The engineering behind the static expression of the form needed to be constructive and in the language of the piece without generating its own separate expression as a structural framework.


Collaboration between artist, fabricator and engineer was critical to explore the capacity of material mixed with very non-standard methods of analysis and feedback to the artist to allow for the expression to materialize without visual external constraints. Developing a feedback loop between form and performance allowed for the evolution of form within a range of acceptable solutions.

Additional Information

Three of the images shown are from the exhibition at the James Cohan gallery in New York, NY. This was reflective of the larger version installed on the campus of the University of North Texas (two outdoor images).