Julian Wild sculpture – ‘Origin’ at the new Big Data Institute, Oxford University

We worked closely with Julian Wild to help realise his sculpture which is located in front of the Big Data Institute, Oxford University.

Julian’s design encapsulates the concept of cross-disciplinary collaboration which is at the heart of this new facility, where they hope to make new discoveries in the field of genetics.

The sculpture is made of 6mm mild steel plates welded into 400mm hollow box sections. The sculpture is in two parts that are each bolted to the ground at one end, rise 6m and cantilever 6m towards one another. As they approach each other they split into many smaller cast stainless steel highly-polished hollow sections, that are welded in a seemingly random pattern.

The two parts of the sculpture do not touch in the middle, but instead come within a few inches of one another. This central section was designed by a collaborative process. We visited Julian’s workshop and guided him on where to place each piece, in a way that would be structurally sound.

We used rigid insulation, cut to the same size as the steel pieces, and glued them together with a glue gun. This maquette was carried to the fabricator’s workshop for them to follow. This was a really simple but highly effective method of resolving a complex geometric problem – simple is best!

  • Designer: Julian Wild
  • Photography: Anne Purkiss