top of page

Year in Review — A Look Back at 2017

2017 has been a busy year for us at Creative Machines. Wings Over Water won Best Art Installation in Houston Press’s Best of Houston 2017 issue. MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, for whom we built the endless array of interactive exhibits, won Best Museum + Best Family Fun Spot for 2017 for the Santa Barbara Independent’s Best of Santa Barbara issue, among other recognitions. These projects wouldn’t be successful without the support of the communities that continuously engage with our work, and for that we thank you. This blog post highlights all of the hard work put into our pieces over the past year in each department: Sculpture/Public Art, Ball Machines & Interactive Exhibits!

ART This year we installed more public artwork than any other year! Here are some projects we put out into the world over the last 12 months.

Stories Interweave is a sculptural series of lanterns inspired by the diversity of languages spoken in Aurora, CO.

Look back at Stories Interweave blog updates: Selected, Prototype, Fabrication, Installation.

Sprouts is a series of perforated, curvilinear steel sculptures that reference the form of a plant shoot or sprout, but at a monumental scale.

Look Back at Sprouts blog updates: Fabrication, Fabrication Continues, Shipping, Installation.

Latent Energy is a large-scale science inspired sculpture that depicts a portion of a hydrocarbon molecule transitioning from its liquid to its solid form.

Convergence is a three-dimensional array of engineering equations cut out of steel ribbons.

Look back at Convergence blog updates: Fabrication, Shipping, Installation, Completed.

Earth’s Blanket is a chemistry-themed series of six interactive sculptures that represent the most abundant greenhouse gases on earth: water, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and freon-12.

Look back at Earth’s Blanket blog updates: Fabrication, Installation.

Color Wash, located in Tucson, Arizona, brings a peaceful representation of a water-filled oasis in the middle of the hot desert climate.

Look back at Color Wash blog updates: Installation, Completed.

Crescent is a perforated stainless steel, LED-lit addition to As Above, So Below, and is located in the Four Seasons Hotel in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Flowers, a group of twenty six colorful flowers located throughout the new emergency room at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, brings warmth and cheer into an otherwise clinical environment.

Look back at Flowers blog updates: Fabrication, Installation.

BALL MACHINES This year the Ball Machine fabrication team has been working hard restoring older sculptures, building new ball machines, and installing finished pieces. Check out some of the things they have been up to below!

Din Don, a towering kinetic ball machine, was originally built by George Rhoads in 1992. It was then installed in Kobe Harborland Shopping Center in Kobe, Japan, where it has brought joy to thousands upon thousands of shoppers for many years. Din Don was crated and shipped back to us in order for our ball machine specialists to refurbish the monumental sculpture.

Check out the entire Din Don restoration, which spanned 2016/2017, outlined in the following blog posts: Restoration Begins, Restoration Update, Re-Installation In Kobe, Japan, Install Complete!

Incrediball Journey through Stanford Campus is a ball machine that takes viewers on a tour of the amazing Stanford University campus. The ball machine was installed inside Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.

Check out our blog posts with more photos and details all about the making of Incrediball Journey through Stanford Campus: Fabrication Begins, Fabrication Update, Installation & Complete.

Sound Machine is a modern take on the classic ball machine sculpture. The machine was designed specifically for MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation. Sound Machine was installed in February of 2017 and has brought endless delight to visitors of the museum who have been captivated by the sound-producing, interactive kinetic sculpture!

Check out Sound Machine blog posts here: Fabrication, Installation at MOXI, MOXI Grand Opening.


Our exhibits team was the primary fabricator for the interactive exhibits found in the mega-popular MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation located in Santa Barbara, California. The museum had its grand opening earlier this year and as of July, had attracted over 100,000 visitors! The museum has been continuously recognized for its innovative structure and STEAM based learning atmosphere. Check out some of our favorite moments from MOXI’s opening earlier this year.

#gallery-5 { margin: auto; } #gallery-5 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 33%; } #gallery-5 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-5 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */

Check out all MOXI related blog posts here: Fabrication of MOXI, Exhibits Testing with Kids!, MOXI Updates, Shipping, Fabrication Updates, Installation at MOXI, MOXI Grand Opening. For MORE photos and info on each specific exhibit at MOXI, be sure to visit our main Exhibits page to find the section for each exhibit.

We have also been working with a number of different clients constructing exhibits for use in pharmaceutical conventions and trade shows. One of these pieces was a dinosaur skeleton dubbed Chemosaurus for Navicor, an oncology agency whom we have worked before with our award-winning LiteBite display!

When we aren’t working on major museum projects or important trade show displays, we make singular exhibits for science museums all around the world. Recently we made Shake Table, an exhibit that simulates major earthquakes while the user builds simple structures that attempt to endure the quake, for a museum in Hong Kong.


We have several projects that we are currently working on as we roll into 2018. Some of them we have already shared with you! Keep your eyes peeled for continuing blog updates on projects such as Growing Home and Camaraderie! Thank you so much for reading; stay tuned throughout next year as we work on more exciting projects!⚙


bottom of page