College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

How do you create a hanging sculpture that represents the field of engineering to hang in the new Marston Hall atrium?

Engineering Dean, Sarah Rajala

Engineering Dean, Sarah RajalaTo be honest, we need help answering this question. Our Marston renovation art committee has retained famed artist Norie Sato to create an artistic piece representative of engineering from various perspectives. This project is of special interest to me, and I thought it was important to get input from our alums, faculty, staff and friends.

We are about one year away from moving into our new Marston home – the gateway for hundreds of guests who visit our college each year. Norie’s vision for a sculpture to hang from our grand atrium is very exciting, and the piece will contribute to the amazing art collection we are fortunate to have on campus.

What images, symbols and objects come to mind when you think of engineering at Iowa State – past, present and future? A slide ruler… micro chip… a specific piece of lab equipment… robot… drone…? We are collecting photos, images and written suggestions to share with the artist so our sculpture truly captures Iowa State engineering. Norie will use all of this information as inspiration to design and create the several pieces of original art that will make up the sculpture.

Earlier this month I asked our faculty and staff to submit images representative of their departments, work, projects, activities, research, etc. Now I would like to reach out further and ask all of our alums and friends to share any imagery or specific verbiage on what objects come to mind when you think of Iowa State engineering. It will be most helpful to know about symbols, items and things that represent our college work vs. general memories such as “good times,” “meeting people” or “great education.”

Here is a brief list of objects you might recall or think about in terms of engineering. You can certainly send a description of your memory or suggestion, as photos are not required:

  • Research (what did you use to conduct research)
  • Symbols
  • Machinery
  • Tools
  • Equipment (lab, classroom, in the field, other)
  • Electronics
  • Vehicles
  • Project components

We need help from many people to make this engineering sculpture come alive and serve as a welcome and conversation piece in Marston Hall. Your assistance with identifying images and objects is greatly appreciated. Please send any information you would like to share to Bill Beach by August 3, and he will share with the artist.

If you are interested in learning more about our artist Norie Sato, you can visit her website.

I hope you are all enjoying the summer months. We are preparing for another large class of students this fall and are excited for the new academic school year. As always, I appreciate hearing from you and look forward to your comments.