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brian peters 3D prints sculptural modules for his lattice-like 'prairie cord'

the modular ‘prairie cord’


in an exploration of 3D printed parts-to-whole, designer brian peters sculpts an exterior public art installation ‘prairie cord.’ the american artist completed the intricate structure for the olbrich botanical gardens, taking advantage of its bucolic context and serene, mirrored waters. the luminous and site-specific piece makes use of light, shadow, and reflection across both day and night.


taking shape as a lattice-like arc, the extrusion is transformed by the reflecting water surface into a full cylinder, a perfect circle in section. the intricate infill pattern takes inspiration from the prairie cord grasses native to the area, and invites light to filter in and out of the installation.

brian peters prairie cord



the fabrication process of brian peters


brian peters’ installation ‘prairie cord’ was displayed at the olbrich botanical gardens in madison, wisconsin. while it seems to float lightly atop the garden’s pool, the sculpture is built atop a foundation of concrete blocks and is positioned to rest just above the water’s surface.


the designer built the temporary installation as an assemblage composed of 80 individual blocks. this collection saw sixteen unique block designs where each block type is tapered variably based on its location in arch. the 3D printed ceramic blocks were designed and fabricated by brian peters in his studio in pittsburgh, PA using a custom process that he has been developing for several years. after the blocks are 3D printed, each block is hand refined, glazed, and fired in a kiln.

brian peters prairie cord

brian peters prairie cord brian peters 3D prints sculptural modules for his lattice-like 'prairie cord'


brian peters 3D prints sculptural modules for his lattice-like 'prairie cord'



process image
process image
a single module
a single module
the 3D printing process
the 3D printing process

project info:


project title: prairie cord
artist: brian peters | @brian.peters.studio
location: madison, wisconsin
materials: 3D printed stoneware blocks, frame, led lights

client: olbrich botanical gardens
photography: brian peters



overall dimensions: 10’-0” L x 4’-0” H x 6’-0” D
individual block dimensions: 12” L x 8” H x 4” D


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