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Inspiration from… Sculpture

It wasn’t until about halfway through my undergraduate degree when I realized that the process of becoming an architect was changing me.  My main interest was always and still architecture, but I also found inspiration in other types of art: graphic design, photography, typography, industrial product design, painting, printing, and sculpture.  The time spent in undergrad studio didn’t allow for much extracurricular activity, but I was able to take classes in architectural photography and printmaking.  I found these subjects inspiring as they forced me to focus on one specific skill at a time, while allowing me to exert my creative energy.

I soon began to realize that the inspiration I found in art and design could be applied to my architectural education.  I believe that exploring other mediums enhances the mind of a creative designer.

This is why my inspiration for this week is the work of Steve Tobin, a Lehigh Valley local artist who specializes in bronze sculpture.  He has worked in clay, glass, and many other mediums throughout his career, but is most recognized for his massive tree-root pieces.  These elegant & magnificent forms are similar to architecture in the way they create space.  They have form and shape and create voids.  They are meaningful, but also playful; and they can be interpreted in many ways.  The Trinity Root, for instance, is a famed sculpture of Steve’s that was installed outside of the Trinity church in NYC as a representation of the root of the tree that protected the chapel from danger during the collapse of the World Trade Centers.

steve tobin trinity root

Sometimes it’s hard to wrap my head around their purpose, but at the same time, I am intrigued at the process of building something so large.  I would love to visit his studio and watch as these pieces come together.

steve tobin sculpture 1


steve tobin 2

The images were found on Steve’s website & the photo of the orange piece was taken outside of his studio in Quakertown, PA.

steve tobin alicia pic