Materials Research Society

Materials Research Society

Materials Research Society, Warrendale, PA

Materials Research Society (“MRS”) (three hexagons, 36 x 42 inches each–10 by 10 foot space)

The Challenge:

Create a work of art that speaks to the underlying materials that make up our world. Austine worked with a nation-wide committee of scientists from the MRS to create this installation for their headquarters. Weekly conference calls, emails and faxes facilitated the collaboration.

The Solution:

At first the image appears as random abstract patterns (left). Each image represents the underlying microstructures of materials. The macrostructure is revealed when viewed through polarizing filter (below at right). The golden gate bridge emerges from the microstructure of steel. A tree appears where the microstructure of wood once was. An emerald appears where its crystal structure was.

This piece takes full advantage of its environment in many ways. The entry doors to the space are covered in a polarizing filter. When approached, the art instantly appears in full vibrant colors. Open the doors and the macrostructures disappear revealing the mysterious underlying microstructure.

At night, the many windows in the space reflect the art and, since a reflection is naturally polarized, these reflections reveal the alternate view of the piece. One may change the colors even in the reflection by looking through the viewer.

Please see Austine Studios Exhibit Design page for more information about Polage in large scale projects.

The National Headquarters of the Materials Research Society is in Warrendale, PA, near Pittsburgh. 506 Keystone Drive, Warrendale, PA 15086. For more information about MRS, email the Materials Research Society or visit their website.