Cutting Edges, Microsoft Campus, Redmond, Washington, USA

Submitted by Ulrich Pakker

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Client: Microsoft Corporation

Location: Redmond, WA, United States

Completion date: 2018

Artwork budget: $88,000

Project Team

Artist

Ulrich Pakker

R P Art, Inc.

Chief Art Curator

Lele Barnett

Microsoft

Admin and Digital Editor

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki

R P Art, Inc.

Photographer for Microsoft

Tuan Nguyen

The Lumiere Group - Microsoft

Overview

Ulrich was inspired by the main Microsoft Campus property’s old sawmill. He was approached by the chief curator of the Microsoft Art Collection to design a sculpture, visible day or night, for one of the main meeting areas on the expansive campus. His 3-piece installation evokes both the cutting edges of saw blades as well as the organic shapes of native grasses of the area. The title alludes to Microsoft’s continuing excellence in computer software. The sculpture’s internal LEDs change color, providing a lively illumination at night.

Goals

The designated site for the sculpture, on top of a huge boulder, was at the top of steep stairs overlooking an indoor-outdoor eating area. There is a covered walkway leading up to the site. The goals for integrating this sculpture included high visibility day and night, human-sized artwork, a link to the surrounding area's history and creating a work that could not be easily climbed on. All of these criteria were successfully taken into account for the final design.

Additional Information

Constant communication between the MIcrosoft art team was critical to the success of this project. The curator of the Microsoft Art Collection presented three installation sites to me and another artist they were considering. Each site had its advantages and disadvantages. After a lively discussion involving the team and the other artist, I chose to propose a three-component sculpture for the site up above the commons and eating area. Once my design was chosen, we all collaborated on exactly how the sculptures could be installed, their dimensions, how much lighting they would need and whether or not the site required The grace and lyrical quality of the final design proved this collaboration very successful.