dimensional progression

Creative Direction / Installation Design

the ask

Design a mural in new dining hall staircase to increase student appeal and drive engagement at UMass Dartmouth. Represent the University, its values and history, and the people.

the solution

A 3D reflective vinyl and steel cable mural representing student potential, campus diversity, regional nautical history, and Paul Rudolph's design of the campus.

the role

Ideator, designer, chief decision maker from conception to initial production. Involved in all meetings, critiques, and served as head decision maker through development.

composition / representation / nautical

Dimensional Progression represents the potential, growth, and achievement of people along different paths through its composition, as represented by the playful height differences and varying angles of panels and cables.

Multiple colors create one composition representing campus disciplines and diversity; while each is unique individual, we come together as a community.

The panels at different angles and levels of protrusion come together in a net/wave-like composition alluding to the nautical and fishing culture of Dartmouth and New Bedford, MA.

This was enhanced through the use of braided steel cable, which allude to rope with a Brutalist twist.

brutalist inspiration / material

Campus architect Paul Rudolph's Brutalist style inspired this work to utilize sharp angles and repetition, as seen through the protruding triangular panels and repeating braided steel cables.

These panels are made of a reflective vinyl to allow audience to see themselves in it, adding to the experience and visual depth of the piece.

Each panel features an anchor point from which steel cables project at an incline, resulting in an inclined arrangement per panel (see diagram).

location / light play / perception

Located on a staircase wall with a large window receiving lots of sunlight throughout the day and with multiple points of access, it was important to fully take advantage of such qualities.

The incoming sunlight casts shadows that move with the sun throughout the day; symbolizing the paths we walk in life are different and ever-changing, depending which plane or spoke we may be on currently.

The space was fully activated and can be viewed from all angles without damaging the work's perception.

puzzles solved

Turning the concept to reality was a challenging component overcome through communication.

Meeting with campus construction supervisors to better understand the installation requirements and process allowed for the ambitious design to follow building code (below).

Production was outsourced to a sign and installation company with whom we met many times to sort out pricing and production feasibility.

The panel prototype (left) captures the visual playful light, shadow, and reflective qualities of the piece.


Multiple concepts were presented, but there could only be one winner.

Designs developed but not selected by the board are featured below.

Sailing Foliage represents nautical and forest themes through its use of beam-suspended netting. The design is approachable and creates dimensionality, with opportunity to be used as a community bulletin board or festivity decorative opportunity.

Forest Adventure is a spin on campus life and the college journey: housing and food. This vinyl graphic encourages exploring outside your comfort zone through paper cutout-styled illustrations and suits other surrounding environmental graphics.

Deconstructed Grove is composed of small pieces of wood to create playful shadows changing throughout the day. This large installation of small components alludes to campus cantilevers and forest theme used throughout campus housing.