Synthesis

Submitted by Metalab

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Client: Oregon State University

Location: Corvallis, OR, United States

Completion date: 2016

Artwork budget: $243,000

Project Team

Architect

Andrew Vrana, Joe Meppelink, Armando Arteaga

Metalab

Artist

Shane Allbritton, Norman Lee

RE:site

Industry Resource

Star Precision

Industry Resource

Stratasys 3D Printing

Overview

Developed by the artists Shane Allbritton and Norman Lee of RE:Site, Synthesis is a suspended sculpture that evokes the harmony between the natural and the technological underlying the fields of chemical, biological and environmental engineering. Located in the two-story lobby of Johnson Hall, the piece features dodecahedral forms composed of thin frameworks of aluminum integrated with facets of dichroic acrylic. The composition of the modules is characterized by a clustered configuration, along with a singular and smaller group suspended in proximity. The form suggests the process of synthesis on a molecular or cellular scale.

Process

To development the dodecahedral forms for fabrication and final installation, the prototyping process was critical to ensuring that the forms meet the expectations of everyone involved in the project, from the artists to the architect to the client. Central to the geometry, the corner node of each module was designed and constructed with 3D printed aluminum. This aluminum node then held the framework of each unit together, facilitating the insertion of the dichroic acrylic that gives Synthesis its kaliedoscope of colors.