Janet Echelman sculpts at the scale of buildings. Her work defies categorization, intersecting Sculpture, Architecture, Urban Design, Material Science, Structural & Aeronautical Engineering, and Computer Science. Echelman’s art transforms with wind and light, and shifts from being “an object you look at, into an experience you can get lost in”.
Her TED talk “Taking Imagination Seriously” has been translated into 35 languages with more than two million views. Oprah ranked Echelman’s work #1 on her List of 50 Things That Make You Say Wow!, and she received the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award in Visual Arts, honoring “the greatest innovators in America today.” Recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, Harvard Loeb Fellowship, Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellowship, and Fulbright Sr. Lectureship, Echelman was named an Architectural Digest Innovator for “changing the very essence of urban spaces.”
Echelman’s educational path has been nonlinear. After graduating from Harvard College, she lived in a Balinese village for 5 years, then completed separate graduate programs in Painting and in Psychology. Recipient of an honorary Doctorate from Tufts University, Echelman most recently served as Visiting Professor at MIT.
Using unlikely materials from fishnet to atomized water particles, Echelman combines ancient craft with computational design software to create artworks that have become focal points for urban life on five continents, from Singapore, Sydney, Shanghai, and Santiago, to Beijing, Boston, New York and London. Permanent commissions can be visited in Porto (Portugal), Richmond (Canada), San Francisco, West Hollywood, Phoenix, Greensboro, Eugene, and Seattle.