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Mercy Pavillion, UPMC, Pittsburgh, PA

Located in a main corridor in the Vision and Rehabilitation hospital, the space serves as a connector between the vision and physical rehabilitation department and is populated by a wide range of patients with both short and long-term recoveries. Playing off the adjacent rivers as well as the city’s industrial past, I focused on the history of glass artisans and manufacturers who impacted the area. The combination of these elements brought to mind images of messages in bottles and their relationship to things like wishing trees and floating lanterns, all things that carry within them the thoughts and aspirations of their creators.

I envisioned hundreds of these glass vessels each filled with an individual message or wish donated by patients and staff drifting through the space and ascending as they reached the vertical entrance of the building. Appearing at first as a colorful current of glass, upon closer inspection, the unique designs and shapes can be identified alluding to specific points in the city’s timeline. Messages and contributions will be continuously collected and added to a publicly accessible online database and the piece will be periodically updated so that it can continue to grow and evolve with the space. From the plaza, they will create a composition reminiscent of flying lanterns or balloons, magically ascending upwards.

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