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Martin Donlin: Thinking Big in Oklahoma

The Design-Nation portfolio is characterised by its diversity and breadth of practice, and who better to exemplify this than glass designer Martin Donlin, with his colourful new work “What is the City but the People?”. From his Brighton studio Martin brings his joyous and inclusive aesthetic to many major architectural projects across the world.

What is the City but the People?” is a massive wrap-around artwork that completely encases Oklahoma City’s Convention Centre new multistorey carpark. A staggering 2,500 square metres of printed polycarbonate comprises over 80,000 individual four centimetre square tiles, all bolted to a myriad of stainless steel cables – a system that had to be invented for this project. Commissioned by the Oklahoma City Office of Arts and Culture for the rebuilt 2021 events complex, the final effect is dramatic, and yet serene, portraying bustling crowds of 50 foot high people, and bringing beautifully hued sunshine into what could otherwise be just so much concrete.

Martin joined our portfolio in early 2020. Having trained originally in stained glass, he has greatly expanded his practice to use glass in many formats, ceramic enamels and LED light. He is known for his ambitious site-specific installations across the UK, Europe and the USA.


These are courtesy of Martin Donlin Ltd, Oklahoma City Office of Arts and Culture and Embark.  Photographs by Steve Voelker.

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Liz Cooper


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