Public Artwork


Rochester, NY

Sabri Gokmen

Geometric Optimization
Mark Luffel

Demiurge LLC

Courtesy of J. Adam Fenster (U.Rochester)

University of Rochester


Stainless Steel, Reinforced concrete, Tamper resistant screws

Calyx is a site specific sculpture project commissioned by University of Rochester to celebrate the coming of a new age where technology, art, nature and knowledge become intertwined to inspire the creation of a new generation. The dynamic form and patterning of the sculpture is influenced by leaf venation systems found in nature that are able to produce structural networks and organic forms. The canopying sculpture acts as a recognizable landmark for the visitors as well as offers a gathering space for leisure by attracting students to the area.

The form of the sculpture is generated by using computer software that can create self-organizing forms through the interaction of veins that grow and support each other. Starting from the base, the veins shoot upward to search and find each other to create structural joints as well as acquire a final stabilized form. During the development of the project early structural analysis yielded to results that are akin to leaf vein networks following hierarchical material thicknesses. Using this input the sculpture is produced by optimized stainless steel plates that are joined by welding and bolted connections. 

The green-yellow tones used on the sculpture mark an uplifting vertical movement that both contrast with the surrounding landscape and complement the courtyard to create a welcoming effect. The pattern and colors of the sculpture intend to reflect and block the sunlight throughout the day, creating interesting visual effects for the people that are passing by the junction as well as offer a shaded resting place.

Growth Simulations in 2D

Growth Simulations in 3D