Commissioned Works

MIT Chemistry Lobby

In 2005, the then chair of MIT Chemistry, Steve Lippard, invited me to design an installation for the newly renovated Chemistry Building lobby. It was a golden opportunity for me to play with a version of the Periodic Table I had in mind for a number of years.  First, I wanted to create a guessing game, to only suggest the elements’ notations by graphically abstracting them. Graphic designer Rachael Posnak was instrumental in developing those abstractions. I also thought it would be fun to express each element’s atomic number with small squares around the perimeter of each larger square –– for example, Mg has 12 squares at one edge.


The most challenging issue was the following:  we were not permitted to attach anything to the existing wall!  Ross B. Wescott did a brilliant job of designing a stable installation where all the elements were suspended with a series of cables and custom-designed metal connectors. Because glass (what I wanted) was too heavy, we used acrylic upon which the abstraction and atomic number squares were imprinted.

We were privileged to commission the creative thinking of engineer, Ross B. Wescott, from DGI-Invisuals, who fabricated the installation.
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