KAY OBENDORF: Spring is here, and so is PolyForm.
JENNY SABIN: So exciting. This project started in 2013-- so this is a big moment.
We're interested in creating a project that, on the one hand, would commemorate Kay's amazing contribution in terms of her work, and pedagogical models, and leadership for the college and her students, but also one that would embrace intersections between science, design and issues of human ecology that would operate across scales.
KAY OBENDORF: This structure says to the people walking by, here is human ecology. Come see what they are doing here. And this is a lively, vibrant place with a rich history.
JENNY SABIN: And certainly, that encompasses the legacy and history of this college being part of the land-grant side of the university.
KAY OBENDORF: Oh. And here you've got the full reflection of Martha Van.
JENNY SABIN: Yeah.
KAY OBENDORF: Coming up West Path is a perfect way to see the structure and be invited into the pavilion. And seeing people come up to it-- some go in, some go around.
JENNY SABIN: The most important part is seeing people interact with it. And that, for me, is success. You know, just the sheer joy, and wonder, and the inspiration that it plays in just creating a moment of pause in one's day is what we hope for.
The project has inspired, I think, a number of different types of exchanges, which has been exciting.
KAY OBENDORF: I think we have bigger visions of how a design from across the whole campus can come together. And I think that that's been facilitated by our interactions. And so that's the thing of it-- always changing. It's never the same.
JENNY SABIN: No, never. [LAUGHS].
KAY OBENDORF: Just like human life.
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Cornell's College of Human Ecology is celebrating the completion of PolyForm, a 34-foot-wide, walk-through installation designed by Jenny Sabin, professor of architecture in the College of Architecture, Art and Planning, as a centerpiece of the newly renovated Martha Van Rensselaer Hall. The sculpture embodies CHE's mission of interconnectedness with humans at the center.