The art of engineering

“Light Pressure,” a glass sculpture in progress at The Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering

Photo credit: Nora Lewis

The Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering at the University of Rhode Island already features 70,550 square feet of glass—enough to cover an entire football field. This summer, four new sculptures will add to that tally and one will make manifest travel at the speed of sound.

Jenn Figg working with the glass rods of the sculpture
Artist Jenn Figg working on “Light Pressure.” The sculpture is installed one glass rod at a time.

Artists Jenn Figg and Matthew McCormack are installing the four sculptures. The first, called “Light Pressure,” will stretch through the hall on the west side of The Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering. The sculpture, comprising a series of straight and curved glass rods suspended from the ceiling, is meant to mimic a jet flying at transonic speed.

The clear glass rods are embedded with mica flakes, which interrupt and reflect the light. During the day, “Light Pressure” will appear semi-transparent, sparkling with the changing natural light. In the evening, the sculpture will be lit with 2,000 integrated LEDs.