Explore the Immersive Sculptures Around UCSD's Campus

Fallen Star (2012) by Do Ho Suh, Stuart Collection, UCSD
"Fallen Star" (2012) by Do Ho Suh, Stuart Collection, UCSD | © Philipp Scholz Rittermann
Katie Watkins

The university has a unique collection of sculptures and art pieces. It’s easy to spend an entire afternoon walking throughout the campus to experience the installations. Below are five highlights to get you started.

From a giant bear built of boulders to a eucalyptus tree wind garden, the University of California, San Diego’s 1,200-acre campus contains 19 sculptures and art pieces that are integrated into its buildings and landscape. The art collection is the result of an agreement dating back to 1982 between the Stuart Collection and UCSD that says that the entire campus can be considered for site-specific commissioned sculptures. The collection continues to grow with the campus, with the most recent piece completed in 2017.

Fallen Star by Do Ho Suh (2012)

Fallen Star (2012) by Do Ho Suh, Stuart Collection, UCSD

This might be the Stuart Collection’s most well-known piece, although it is fairly new, having opened in 2012. Designed by South Korean artist Do Ho Suh, Fallen Star is a small, fully-furnished blue cottage that sits precariously on the edge of a seven-story building, half of it hovering in the air. It also has a garden out front (as most charming cottages do).

Visitors can go inside the house on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

La Jolla Project (1984) by Richard Fleischner

La Jolla Project (1984) by Richard Fleischner, Stuart Collection, UCSD

Referred to colloquially as “Stonehenge,” the La Jolla Project is made up of 71 blocks of pink and gray granite. The blocks are arranged to create architectural motifs, such as columns, arches, windows, and doorways, giving it a Stonehenge-like appearance from afar. The piece was designed by Richard Fleischner.

Situated on the Revelle College lawn, the sculptures “transform an ordinary, nearly flat lawn into a space with allusions ranging from an ancient ruin to a contemporary construction site,” states the collection’s website. Completed in 1984, the La Jolla Project was the third work added to the Stuart Collection.

Bear (2005) by Tim Hawkinson

Bear (2005) by Tim Hawkinson, Stuart Collection, UCSD

Despite being built of boulders, Bear maintains the endearing appearance of a teddy bear. Designed by Tim Hawkinson, Bear was built from eight, locally-found granite stones. It stands over 23 feet tall and weighs 180 tons. “’Bear’ looks simple but was a sophisticated transportation and engineering feat,” writes The Stuart Collection. “The process of placing and securing the boulders together was complex and unusual—actually unknown—in the construction world.”

The Wind Garden (2017) by John Luther Adams

The Wind Garden (2017) by John Luther Adams, The Stuart Collection, UCSD

The newest addition to the collection, The Wind Garden was conceived by Pulitzer-Prize winning composer John Luther Adams, who created a sound installation within the eucalyptus grove. The music is created by the current wind and light conditions so that no experience is ever the same. Motion and light sensors placed in the trees “translate varying forces of wind and changing light patterns into sound instantaneously using sophisticated software,” explains UCSD News. Speakers in the trees then help to project the sound, which vary in volume, depending on the weather conditions.

Sun God (1983) by Niki de Saint Phalle

Sun God (1983) by Niki de Saint Phalle, Stuart Collection, UCSD

The first piece commissioned for the collection, Niki de Saint Phalle’s Sun God has become a campus icon. In 1984—a year after the sculpture was installed on campus—students started the Sun God Festival, which still continues as one of the biggest annual on-campus events. The vibrant bird stands 14 feet tall, and sits on top of a 15-foot concrete arch, giving it even more height.

Check out the full list of installations—along with additional information about each piece—on the Stuart Collection’s website. There is also a downloadable map to aid visitors in finding the works.

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article