Arts & Culture

UCF-Designed Solar-Powered Sculpture to be Installed at Orlando City Stadium

A solar-powered art sculpture designed by UCF students will soon grace the entryway of Orlando City Stadium, home of the Orlando City Soccer Club and the Orlando Pride.

By Heather Smith and Rachel Williams |
May 16, 2018

The sculpture, when installed, will stand more than 15 feet tall and 10 feet in diameter at the entryway of Orlando City Stadium. It will feature a rendition of a soccer ball designed with intricate gold metal that casts unique, lattice-like shadows on the surrounding ground.

A solar-powered art sculpture designed by a multi-disciplinary team of UCF students has been selected to grace the entryway of Orlando City Stadium, home of the Orlando City Soccer Club in Major League Soccer and the Orlando Pride in the National Women’s Soccer League.

The sculpture, after lighting effects, will produce 1,264 kilowatt-hours annually, more than enough to offset an electric-vehicle charging station.

Gyration was one of three sculptures created in response to a challenge from the Orlando Utilities Commission to develop an aesthetically pleasing sculpture that doubles as a source of renewable energy. Gyration features a rendition of a soccer ball designed with intricate gold metal that casts unique, lattice-like shadows on the surrounding ground. The sculpture, after lighting effects, will produce 1,264 kilowatt-hours annually, more than enough to offset an electric-vehicle charging station.

The design was chosen earlier this month by executives from OUC and Orlando City. Each of the three UCF teams presented their concept in a Shark Tank TV-style manner to a judging panel.

About the Sculpture

Gyration included engineering students and art students. Team members were: mechanical engineering majors Erin Dudley, James Exum and Ramin Ragbir; electrical engineering majors Denis Aybar, Juan Forero, Simon McGlynn and Daniel Truong; and studio art majors Kealey Keepers, Gabby Mancini, Joel Rouff and Joel Zorowitz. Associate professor of industrial engineering Robert Hoekstra and professor of art Robert Reedy advised students during the process.

“The winning solar power sculpture will be an iconic landmark in our stadium and a perfect shot for fans and our broadcast partners to use on match days.”

The full-scale sculpture, when installed, will stand more than 15 feet tall and 10 feet in diameter at the corner of Church Street and Glenn Lane in downtown Orlando. The next step is a review by the City of Orlando’s Architectural Review Board. The goal is to have the sculpture installed for the 2019 soccer season.

“We are very proud of the students who participated in this project with our soccer club in mind,” Orlando City CEO Alex Leitão says. “The winning solar power sculpture will be an iconic landmark in our stadium and a perfect shot for fans and our broadcast partners to use on match days. We are thankful to OUC and the students for their creative inspiration.”

About the Interdisciplinary Collaboration

OUC posed this challenge to teams in senior design, a capstone of the College of Engineering & Computer Science where students team up to create projects from scratch as a culmination of what they have learned in their engineering or computer science education. Gyration and the other two teams that created designs also partnered with art students.

“Future problems in art and engineering will not be limited to just one area of knowledge. They will require teamwork, mutual respect, and collaboration across boundaries.”

“This type of collaboration is essential for training the artists and engineers of tomorrow. Future problems in art and engineering will not be limited to just one area of knowledge. They will require teamwork, mutual respect, and collaboration across boundaries. These projects give our students a chance to build these skills,” says Rudy McDaniel, director of the School of Visual Arts and Design.

“At UCF, we are thankful to have partners such as OUC and Orlando City Soccer Club that give our students hands-on, real-world learning experiences,” says Michael Georgiopoulos, dean of the College of Engineering & Computer Science. “The winning design is a culmination of two semesters-worth of hard work from our students in the engineering senior design capstone process, collaborating with UCF art students, and we’re excited to see their tremendous effort pay off in a tangible way to benefit the community.”