In what may go down as 2021’s most unlikely artistic combination, a semiconductor company has installed a LEGO art mural in its headquarters building from an artist who excelled on a reality competition show.
ASML (the semiconductor company) unveiled a custom LEGO art mural entitled “Serene Ultraviolet Waterfall” at its research and development manufacturing facility in Wilton, Connecticut. It took more than two months for professional brick artist Jessica ‘Ragzy’ Ewud to assemble the piece, which spans 20 feet wide by 5 feet high, It features more than 70,000 LEGO bricks. Selected out of thousands to compete on Fox’s hit television series “LEGO Masters,” Ewud’s finalist piece was displayed at LEGOLAND in Carlsbad, California.
“The relationship between art and science is very special because both artists and scientists have the ability to view the world differently and question everything,” Ewud said.
The piece is particularly special as the concept originated from an employee, Peter Baumgartner, an optical engineer who has worked at ASML Wilton for more than 25 years in systems integration.
“I was talking to a colleague on my project about how we show progress on a task, and he suggested we use a waterfall chart. This led me to think about a real waterfall and how water is sometimes deeper than we know, and I think that’s true of the people and work we do here at ASML,” Baumgartner said.
Jessica Ewud tells ASML’s story in LEGOs
Ewud used translucent, white, and dark and light violet bricks and connected them in a way that reflects light in all directions. She also used bricks traditionally meant for windshields and vehicles and transformed them into flowing and splashing water that brings dimension and movement.
The artist also created a tree with a so-called ‘greeble’ design to give a more complex look and a nod to the future of technology. Technic LEGO pieces were used to elevate bees so that they appear in flight, and different variations of flowers give the illusion some are blooming – both of which work together to imbue life and energy.
“My work is meant to be mysterious and involve symbolism,” Ewud said. “LEGO bricks in my work represent the building blocks of something. In this particular mural at ASML, the bricks symbolize the building blocks and future of technology. I’ve deliberately taken pieces that were traditionally meant for one purpose and created something new, which I believe is important to science and engineering.”
The final mural includes an interactive scavenger hunt, which hides odds things in unsuspecting places. The goal is to engage engineers and viewers into thinking beyond the waterfall. Ewud used a lot of unique pieces, such as spiderwebs for splashes that symbolize the ‘World Wide Web’ and the role ASML plays in advanced computing, demonstrating the out-of-the-box thinking employees at ASML use every day.
Science and art form the building blocks of innovation
Dedicated to empowering women in the arts as well as STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), Ewud is passionate about the inclusion of art in STEM curricula. Her work often contains some sort of puzzle, which entices the viewer into problem solving.
“Art tells the story of science and can be a powerful tool to translate concepts in effective ways,” Ewud said. “Art allows scientists and engineers to create and generate ideas that don’t exist yet. It bridges the gap in thinking that something could one day be possible.”
The development and construction of the LEGO installation reflects ASML’s own journey – innovation in the pursuit of the big picture, with our multidisciplinary team of experts working together and challenging engineering approaches to drive advancements in the semiconductor industry.