Wexner Center for the Arts: Color Block No. 2

Our team recently completed one of our most ambitious and challenging builds (and installs) to date.  It probably isn't what you expect...  but what a welcome reminder that our work IS art!  Join us on this geometric (and colorful) journey of building 4 custom super furniture art installations for Wexner Center for the Arts in collaboration with Outpost Office.  

Behind the Build

We talk a lot about building things we've never built before- we like flexing our muscles, this build was herculean.  How do you build something that is part museum object, part geometric puzzle and part furniture, oh and also needs to work inside and outside- in the winter, in Ohio. 🧐

Super furniture build by Edgework Creative


The columns were all built from dura ply- an exterior rated plywood specifically designed to expand and contract with the elements.  All of the steel brackets and grating were powder coated.  An exterior rated paint specific for UV resistance and vibrant colors was used over a coat of primer.  The final layer was the application of exterior sign grade vinyl and finished with a clear coat top coat.

Custom art installation by Edgework Creative Steel fabrication by Edgework Creative

"I always enjoy a creative challenge, taking someone’s vision and making it a reality. Building the pieces for the Wexner Center definitely presented a unique set of challenges being cumbrous and simultaneously graceful, warm and inviting while using industrial materials," Eli, Edgework Creative fabricator, shares.

Art installation by Edgework Creative Art installation by Edgework Creative

Components and Shapes

So many parts, so many components, so many shapes 🤯. With each installation being a unique design there were so many parts, it's hard to articulate just how many unique pieces there were- even if they look alike.  Type A, OCD organization was key!

Art installation by Edgework Creative Art installation by Edgework Creative

Art installation by Edgework Creative Art installation by Edgework Creative


The best way to describe an Ohio winter is damp and grey.  These installations add so much color and vibrancy to an otherwise drab season and welcome museum visitors with a bright and cheerful entrance.  With all of that vibrancy comes a unique set of challenges pertaining to durability and finish.  We used an exterior grade plywood and an exterior UV resistant paint finish to help hold up to the elements.

Super furniture art installation by Edgework Creative

Super furniture art installations by Edgework Creative

Photo Credit for above two photos- Image 1: Leonid Furmansky and Image 2: Knowlton School, Phil Arnold

Engineering + Buildability

So many angles, so many pieces, so many connection and interaction points and so many details.  We built 4 of these and each one was a different design, which means not one thing was a repeatable process.  "I find that creative problem solving is the most fun when working on projects that push boundaries and engage the community. Our team of architects, engineers, and fabricators all contributed to a solution that respected our constraints and fulfilled the client’s vision. It was a pleasure working with Erik & Ashley as well as the entire Wexner Center staff," Edgework Creative Project Manager Jimmy Hughes shares.  The constructability and layered approach had to be methodical, the tech sheets and details were intense.  We also pre-installed these in our showroom before dis-assembling and delivering and installing on site.  Each piece needed marked and organized, so many wedges and pillars that look the same but aren't the same 🙃 

Fabrication engineering

Fabrication engineering

"While simple in geometric form, the real challenge was developing a solution that assembled efficiently and made sense structurally. We were not permitted to attach these structures to any points on the ground so we had to develop a freestanding design that withstood forces of wind, ice, body weight, and extra “tipping” forces you would expect in a public campus environment. Every square inch of material was studied and calculated," Edgework Creative Project Manager Jimmy Hughes shares.

Custom art installation by Edgework Creative Custom art installation by Edgework Creative

"The color accuracy was important to coordinate between paint and powder coating to make sure all components were an exact match.  We were also focused on very sharp tape lines," Edgework Creative finisher Nick Kahler shares.

Custom art installation by Edgework Creative

"The attention to detail with all the colors and working to orient all the shapes and create the vibrancy and color combinations was a real highlight for me on this project," Edgework Creative finisher Colin McKay shares.

Our work is art

Touch the art!  Furniture is living art and it was an honor to build this "super furniture" in collaboration with Outpost Office at The Wexner Center for the Arts.  Outpost shared a bit about the vision for the pieces, "people are encouraged to interact with these pieces, rather than simply viewing them, changing the dynamic usually experienced in a gallery or museum. The installation challenges both conceptual and physical institutional boundaries."  When you visit the museum you will find people interacting with the Color Block installations by enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend, kids reading a book or adults climbing trying to figure out how it works.🧐

Super furniture art installations by Edgework Creative

"They are a reflection of where art meets function. I couldn’t help but think about the relational aesthetic artistic movement and amazing artists like Rirkrit Tiravanija. We, the builders, become the catalyst for the art to happen with use in a social context," shares Eli from Edgework Creative.

Super furniture art installation by Edgework CreativeArt installation by Edgework Creative

Photo Credit for above 2 images: Leonid Furmansky

Project Team

Projects like this are impossible without a solution oriented, smart and collaborative team working together along the way.  There were many head scratching moments, frustrations and learnings along the way and there was so much respect for one another throughout the process.  Shout out to the entire team!

Edgework Creative team:

  • Jimmy Hughes (Project Manager)- What a champ!  He was the manager of soooooo many details, people and expectations.  Jimmy coordinated with the team at Outpost and Wexner to navigate challenges, details and make sure our team was able to execute each piece.  
  • Eli Donahue (Fabricator)-  This project perfectly showcases Eli's ability to fabricate in both the wood and metal shop.  He also has a background in building displays and public installations so this was the perfect project for him.  
  • Colin McKay + Nick Kahler (Finishers)- These two had to keep track of so many parts, details and work with new materials.  Their commitment to the quality and finish was unmatched.

Structural Engineer: Bernie Kooi

Architect: Outpost Office- Erik Herrmann and Ashley Bigham

Art Museum: Wexner Center for the Arts

Check out this piece from WOSU about how Outpost Office dreamt up these objects and see video of guests interacting, our team installing and more about how they approach architecture and the built environment.

Commercial Creatives We Love Resource Library

← Older Post


  • Really, really cool : )
    How awesome to get to showcase your abilities in such an artistic way and how wonderful to have your work in shown in a museum.

    Eileen on

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published