Rowland Design is Indianapolis-based an interior designer. They represented Indiana Grand Racing & Casino for this project. ExpoDesign has been working with Rowland Design since 2011.

The Challenge

Rowland Design was looking for a pop-piece sculpture and accent pieces for the Sidewalk Cafe, a new restaurant opening in Indiana Grand’s Shelbyville casino, as well as some accent pieces for the buffet. They wanted a larger-than-life acrylic cone sculpture lit from the interior with a signage band around the outside. For the buffett accent pieces, they wanted to evoke the aesthetics of blown glass without the complexity and fragility of the material. ExpoDesign was tasked with creating these pieces, using materials unfamiliar to us at the time. The cone sculpture was to be built from a CAD design. The buffet pieces could be designed with more freedom.

The Solution

ExpoDesign proposed a 12’ tall acrylic sculpture to represent Rowland’s design for the new space. We created a base with an enclosed light to shine up and throughout the piece. For the buffet, we designed several “bundles” of acrylic “blooms” that had the look and feel of blown glass. Because we would be using unfamiliar materials, ExpoDesign performed extensive research and development before venturing into this project. We built a large oven to aid in heat-forming large pieces of acrylic and built a steel armature to hold them in place. We expertly created a new method of sculpture that has since become a commonplace capability for our team. For the blooms, we developed a method of transparently painting acrylic prior to the heating and forming process, which allowed us to replicate the look of infused blown glass. The end result was a beautifully-crafted sculpture and acrylic accent pieces that realized Rowland’s vision for these decor elements.

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