Spark - CODAworx


Submitted by Adam Jackson Pollock

Client: American Family Insurance

Location: Madison, WI, United States

Completion date: 2018

Project Team


Adam Jackson Pollock

Fire Farm Lighting


Dereje Pollock

Fire Farm Lighting


Tom Stacey

Epstein Uhen Architects


Michelle Nagorsen

American Family Insurance

Interior Designer

Jackie Posselt

Epstein Uhen Architects




The Spark Sculpture was created as a beacon to entrepreneurs working with Starting Block Madison, the business incubator occupying the first two floors of the Spark building constructed by American Family Insurance. American Family Insurance is committed to improving their community and supporting economic growth and development in this transitional part of the city. The Spark sculpture consists of three DNA strands 8ft tall that surround an illuminated core.


The goal of creating a sculptural element that would greet tenants, clients and visitors to the Spark Building just West of the State Capital on Washington Avenue. The client, American Family Insurance sought to create an illuminated sculpture that could be seen from the street and broadcast the innovation and economic genesis promoted in their mandate for building use. The unique process of 3D printing plastic resin allowed the creation of a form that could only be achieved through this nascent technology. Both the DNA form and the technology used to create it and illuminate it contribute to the relevance this piece has to the intended use of the building as a business incubator. Functionally, the ever-changing LED lighting element can be seen from the surrounding neighborhood and acts as an aesthetic icon to American Family Insurance's commitment and investment in the community's future.


The Spark Sculpture developed over 8 months from conception to installation. Four different designs were considered and the final selection was a DNA-inspired helix to represent the building blocks of innovation and growth the building space is designed to inspire. We chose a new technology, currently in its infancy, to fabricate the form. Three dimensional printing was employed to create over 50 unique pieces over 600 hours of printing time that were joined together to bring the Spark sculpture to life. A high-transmission polyester filament was selected for its unique light transmission properties, its strength and ultra-violet resistance. Color-changing LED elements are located in the core of each strand which can be programmed remotely. The ability to program the lighting effects keeps the sculpture dynamic, ever-changing and compelling.

Additional Information

This piece exists primarily because of the technical assistance provided by my fourteen year-old son, Dey Pollock, who introduced me to and spearheaded the research and deployment of the 3D printing technology required to execute this vision. The future is bright when we have young minds excited to explore, create and innovate. Thank you Dereje.