• Blog

    Carved in Stone

    A Firm Commitment to Transformative Care

    Carved in Stone

    Transformation is key to the research and mission of SCRI – a process represented by this incised carved stone installation.

    What does it mean to be “carved in stone?” For Seattle Children’s Research Institute (SCRI), it is a lasting impression over 100 years in the making and an unfaltering vision to care for every child. The permanence of this guiding principle inspires SCRI’s scientists and researchers today, but that doesn’t mean the work is static – far from it. SCRI’s new Building Cure facility stands for the constant progress and transformative findings that result in real-world therapies.

    Organic shapes made of hundreds of incised dots suggest movement and transformation.

    To support SCRI’s goal, Studio SC collaborated with architectural firm, Aedas, the Seattle Children’s team, and stone craftsmen to create a public-facing installation, located along pedestrian-friendly Terry Avenue in Seattle.

    IMG 2811 crop Contrast web The sculptural graphic connects passersby to the scientific activity happening within Building Cure.

    SCRI scientists and researchers are investigating cures for a variety of diseases that impact children worldwide. Studio SC conferred with the scientists about relevant aspects of their work to create a visual story that would be relatable and compelling. Lead designer, Christina Sakura expands, “It was their drive and commitment that encouraged us to honor them by relating a fundamental part of their daily work – studying cells – to SCRI’s larger vision of transformative care.”

    The graphic’s organic shapes made of hundreds of incised dots suggest movement and transformation similar to the natural process of cell division called mitosis. Mitosis occurs within the body whenever new cells are needed, such as in childhood development or as a way to heal the body. The actions of change, growth and transformation align scientifically with SCRI’s daily work and parallel the institute’s ever-growing achievements.

    IMG 2810 web Hundreds of hand-carved incised dots come together to form an image of cellular mitosis.

    Studio SC worked with stone carver Ron Clamp to carve the graphic into the stone. Speaking about the incised carving process, Ron notes, “We roughed out the holes with a bonded diamond cone bit to get them to reflect light and then used carbide chisels in a pneumatic air hammer to reach the correct elevation – not much different than the way they would have been carved a hundred years ago.” The result is a shadowing effect that emphasizes the cellular nature of the image.

    The final piece stands as a testament to Building Cure and to those who strive to turn scientific discoveries into real-world therapies – underlying a commitment that is forever carved in stone.