Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking - CODAworx

Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking

Client: University of Chicago - William Eckhardt Research Center

Location: Chicago, IL, United States

Completion date: 2015

Artwork budget: $85,000

Project Team


Justus Roe

Standing Wave LLC.


Patricia Ward

Museum of Science and Industry


Kurt Haunfelner

Museum of Science and Industry


University of Chicago – William Eckhardt Research Center – Large-scale signature entrance lobby piece for the latest University of Chicago facility, the William Eckhardt Research Center. The six year, 225 million dollar building in the making is home to the Institute of Molecular Engineering and several sections of the Physical Sciences Division, including the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. 5640 S. Ellis Ave, Chicago, IL 60637 | Clients: University of Chicago | Curators: Museum of Science and Industry – Architect: HOK | Contractor: W.E. O'Neil | 65' X 15' – acrylic on canvas – 09/15 – 10/15


At the heart of the piece for the Eckhardt Research Center are its people—its faculty, staff, students and visitors who are inspired by the power and potential of science and engineering, and seek to explore the greatest mysteries of our universe, as well as create tools and technologies that will improve and enhance our lives. The spirit and design of the ERC's first floor artwork installation reflects the diversity and aspirations of this broad spectrum of scientists and engineers striving to capture the larger vision of the ERC as a whole.

The artwork was created to reflect the work of the ERC makes the invisible, visible. From the atom to infinity, its researchers explore the realms of our universe that we cannot see. Its science and its ideas transcend the boundaries of individual disciplines.

Using an abstract aesthetic the work played of the identity statement for the center: From the tiniest subatomic particles to the infinite realms of the Universe, the Eckhardt Research Center is the gateway to making the invisible, visible. Its vision transcends the boundaries of scientific disciplines --exploring the mysteries and laws of nature while applying them to the needs of our 21st century world.


The collaboration came through multiple meetings and interactions with all stakeholders to understand their goals and visions which were translated through the piece.