Building STEAM

Funtional public art in the Teen Wing

STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, ART, Math

In August 2015, “Soundwave” - functional art pieces designed by Jackson Hole High School students - was installed in the library’s Teen Wing.

“Sound Wave” is the first project of “Building STEAM,” a collaboration between Jackson Hole Public Art (JHPA), pARTners and the Teton County School District.

Soundwave Teen Wing Public Art David Swift

The design is insightful and incorporated all the stakeholder feedback. It’s going to have a huge effect on the space.
- Youth Services Manager, D Hankins


Bland Hoke, JHPA’s Artist-in-Residence, developed a curriculum for students in Jackson Hole High School’s Digital Fabrication Lab (FabLab). He developed associated projects that provide practical experience through the lens of public art.


Students participate in the entire design process, from defining a problem, empathizing with users, ideating solutions and prototyping their ideas to delivering a final project.


Design Process


During a site visit in October 2014, FabLab students spoke to Teen Wing project stakeholders. Students asked a wide-range of questions and presented early designs, mocked up as cardboard models and tracing paper sketches. One student contextualized the design challenge by noting the wide spectrum of users the space aims to reach, from rowdy sixth graders to 18-year-olds applying to college.

Building STEAM presentation to Library Board


In November 2014, students presented two design proposals to the Library Board for feedback. The students had identified three primary issues with the space: sound, space and privacy.


The first design, “Personal Interactive Place (PIP),” combined creative and functional design elements, with arched panels to act as sound barriers.


The second design, “Soundwave,” incorporated two early ideas into a single design, topographical maps and study “pods.”


In their presentations, the students interacted with members of the board, identified next steps and demonstrated a high level of professionalism, thanks in part to meetings they’d had with TMBR Creative Agency and Carney Logan Burke Architects.


After subsequent meetings with the stakeholder group, the students refined their proposals, taking into account technology and ADA requirements. Noting the wisdom of both designs, the stakeholder group chose “Soundwave” as the final design. Six FabLab students were designated to seeing the project through to installation.


Soundwave Teen Wing Public Art April 2015

Design Thinking Workshops


During the winter, the library hosted a series of Design Thinking Workshops that ran parallel to Building STEAM’s Teen Wing project. More than a dozen teens and tweens, grades 6 through 12, participated in the workshop and provided valuable insight to FabLab students to use in the Teen Wing.


These workshops provided an exciting opportunity for teens to work with an expert designer and successful public artist, to gain exposure to a broad scope of design-related career paths and to develop practical skills related to problem-solving through design.


Media: Teen space designed by teens


“Teens Learn Art of Design, Retooling Library Space” - Wyoming Public Media, April 17, 2015



The Building STEAM project for Teton County Library is funded by the Teton County Library Foundation with support from: Walton Donor advised Fund of the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole, a Center of Wonder C3 grant, Peter and Susan Ordway, and the Newton Family Foundation. Project administration provided by Jackson Hole Public Art.