InSITE STL | Artist Profile -VAN DYCK MURPHY STUDIO
Flora Field is a digitally designed and fabricated reconsideration of architectural ornament in the form of a 3d printed terracotta screen wall. The artwork is located in the courtyard of Adler and Sullivan’s iconic Wainwright Building in Downtown St. Louis. Known for its elaborate architectural terracotta ornamentation, the original terracotta pieces of the Wainwright Building were formed by casting clay in individual hand-carved molds, a process that has largely remained the same for centuries. By reconceiving the casting process of the Wainwright Building ornament as an additive 3d printed material system, Flora Field explores the role of emerging digital technologies with an understanding of the ancient history of clay. The artwork replaces the unsustainable, fixed plastic materials of traditional 3d printing with clay: a sustainable, locally-sourced, and reusable medium with deep roots in St. Louis’s rich architectural history. Flora Field honors the building’s history and architectural importance while engaging viewers to build a new relationship with this historic building and Downtown St. Louis.
Kelley Van Dyck and Jonathan Murphy of Van Dyck Murphy Studio seek to create new relationships between people, material, and space through the coupling of place with material systems and craft. Situated between architectural design, urban intervention, and cultural storytelling, the work merges architectural and artistic modes of thinking and ranges in scale from objects to environments.