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Norman Y Mineta San José International Airport Terminal B

San José, US  2021

Threshold is a sculpture group that serves as a gateway within the Norman Y Mineta San José International Airport Terminal B. Threshold showcases a pair of radiant, intricate worlds enclosed within glass cases, framing the passage from the baggage area out to the city beyond. Selected by the City of San José Art + Technology Program, Threshold is a permanent public sculpture exploring fundamental concepts of elemental life and new technologies for making our built environment. The forms echo aerial vistas that evoke the shared experience of flight and distant destinations. 

One glass case contains a counterclockwise-swirling cluster of flame-like currents with a shower of rays and beaming crystalline bursts, alluding to planetary auras. A second case contains a clockwise-turning flowing pool with dense masses of floating spherical forms each encrusted with tiny glass orbs, evoking the image of a well in the center of the world. Combinations of crystalline triangular, quadrilateral, pentagonal and hexagonal forms are arranged in multi-layered lattices and cell-like shelters. 

The elements of Threshold are organized in systems organized with transitions between polar organizations of cells, vector organizations of showers and upwellings, and field organizations of surrounding clouds. These forms are organized by phyllotaxis, computationally controlled cellular arrangements similar to those that guide shell growth. 

Framed by the theory of abiogenesis, Threshold aims to express figure to field phase transitions, showing turbulence and harmonic organization. The sculpture’s clouds behave like currents that rotate and shear along their flow path, creating turbulence and secondary periodic reactions. The showers of rays consist of conical material arranged and duplicated in concentrated vectors, which puncture adjacent membranes and shells in linear axes. Hyperbolic cellular membrane forms include smooth swells, periodic ripples, and exfoliated upwellings. Multiple layers each serve as the template for the next. Sheltering qualities are found within concave forms, while defensive qualities are expressed through convex forms.


  • Norman Y. Mineta International Airport, Permanent Installation — San Jose, US