1,000 Words of WIT: Industrial Design Sculpture Exhibit

The new visual art installation in the Center for Engineering, Innovation and Sciences’ (CEIS) Showcase features 1,000 words of significance that describe Wentworth from all community stakeholders. This project was envisioned for President Zorica Pantić’s farewell celebration on May 9, 2019. The installation demonstrates what a truly special place Wentworth is and the unique experience that can be cultivated in our community.

This astonishing display consists of 940 colorful acrylic and 60 metal words fastened to wooden frames at different levels on 10 rolling carts. It was made possible by a combined effort between faculty and students from the Department of Industrial Design (ID). Students applied their product design and problem solving skills by testing, building, and testing prototypes again. They grappled with how to be bold and not be daunted by the scale of the project.

One of the key challenges of the project was how to design, fabricate and keep this large installation secret from President Pantić until the farewell event. To maintain secrecy, ninety percent of the work was completed in the Industrial Design Studio. It took about four months to design and build the final sculpture.

Simon Williamson, Professor of Industrial Design, led the entire design and fabrication team. Key student collaborators included Xiunan Xie, Yiwen Zhang, and Alex Fitzgibbons. Many other students came to a Friday night “Peel Party” to help remove the protective film on 1,000 laser cut words. Tina Neal, Wentworth Administrative and Financial Analyst, came to the party and helped peel 100 words to support her son, John, who is in the Industrial Design program.

Faculty, external partners and staff collaborators included Amanda Pearlstein (Institutional Advancement) and Nick Ortolino (ID) who helped to reach out to the Wentworth student community for the words that describe Wentworth. Carlos Villamil (ID) developed the specifications for the typography. Adjunct Professor Aaron Double (ID) 3D-printed the plastic connectors that held the words (2200 connectors—1008 hours of printing); Adjunct Professor Bill Bancroft (ID), fabricated all the wooden frames at his design firm; Ryan Bakanowski, Mechanical Engineering, helped with test printing and plasma cutting the aluminum words; Steve Chomyszak, Mechanical Engineering, added lots of enthusiasm as he helped with the final assembly; Herb Connors, Mechanical Engineering, contributed plasma cutting; Peter Rourke, Mechanical Engineering, offered advice on metallurgy for the aluminum hangers. Sam Montague, Chair of the Department of Industrial Design took photos along the way and created signage for the exhibit.

The “1,000 Words of WIT” installation is open to the public and will be on view until October 1, 2019. Funding was generously provided by Ken Roberts, Trustee Emeritus.

For more information about how the installation came together see the story on the website.

If you have questions or comments please contact libraryexhibits@wit.edu.