Shifting Sand Land - CODAworx

Shifting Sand Land

Client: Scottsdale Public Art

Location: Scottsdale, AZ, United States

Completion date: 2015

Artwork budget: $15,000

Project Team


Bobby Zokaites

Public Art Agent

Scottsdale Public Art


Commissioned specifically for and in collaboration with the Scottsdale Arts Festival, Shifting Sand Land is named after a desert Level in the video game world of Super Mario Brothers. This art work is an all ages version of the classic game “Can't Touch the Ground.”

Covering a 50-foot diameter area in the grass behind City Hall at the Festival, the "islands" of Shifting Sand Land are designed to keep participants on their toes. Dozens of platforms with hemispherical foundations ranging in diameter from eighteen inches to six feet form an archipelago and provide an alien landscape ripe for exploration.


Each module is constructed with a hemispherical steel shell, filled with water. This water acts as a counterweight slowing down the movement of the "island". Attached to the shell is a wooden deck and an upholstered bumper, this bumper makes sure no one scrapes a shin or bumps a knee; combining the weight of the water and the geometry of the bumper make these "islands" stable so that they cannot be unintentionally flipped over. The overall composition includes 25 modules ranging in scale from eighteen inches to six feet. These larger "islands" will allow several people to interact with each other, sort of like those old 4 person seesaws, creating a more dynamic form of play.


My hands-on approach to project management allows me to develop a deep understanding of the project, its space and stakeholders. My past projects have given me experience working architects, engineers, and contractors when addressing issues related to the work’s aesthetics, safety, longevity and structure. Taking the time to understand each project individually helps to satisfy the client’s specific aesthetic goals simultaneously adding to my own skill-set and visual vocabulary.

Additional Information