Rory Nolan


Class of: 2025

Medium: Sculpture

Faculty: Alison McNulty

Prompt: The prompt for this assignment was to create a structure using regular polyhedrons. The structure had to be informed by a contemporary ecological concern, and related to the classical elements that the polyhedrons represent; including, fire, air, water, and earth.

For my project, I chose to work with an octahedron and a hexahedron as my two regular polyhedrons. The octahedron corresponds with the element of air, while the hexahedron corresponds with the element of earth. The contemporary issue that I chose to research is air pollution; specifically in Los Angeles and New York City. I conducted both observational and traditional knowledge-based research on the issue, which influenced my design. In my sculpture, I used chipboard and brass fasteners to construct an inhabitable hexahedron form. I designed this structure so that it balances on one of its corners. On the inside of the hexahedron, I used wire to hang an octahedron form which I had cast out of plaster and then carved. I tried to create a sense of balance in my design, through the way that the inhabitable space rests on one corner and the plaster cast that hangs on the inside. The environment is vulnerable, and human activity can upset the balance of nature in a variety of ways, including my chosen issue of air pollution. In my sculpture, I represent this issue through my choice of regular polyhedrons and the way in which these different parts of my piece are balanced together.