Settee, Bench, and Balustrade

Scott Burton


Wiesner Building (E15)
atrium lobby

A student of Modernist furniture design, Scott Burton explored the ambiguities between art and design, sculpture and furniture in his sculpture.

In the 1970s, he became interested in the choreography of social interaction through the design and arrangement of public seating. Burton’s atrium pieces are functional and create a platform for socializing and observing activity in the atrium. In response to Burton’s design, architect, I. M. Pei echoed the curves of the settees, bench, and railing in the projecting upper balconies, thus engaging the sculptures with the atrium space. For the lower level, Burton created a polished granite bench, a cool geometric design that contrasts with the eccentric curves of the ensemble of settee, bench, and balustrade in the upper atrium.

Read more about Scott Burton






Concrete and painted steel


Commissioned with MIT Percent-for-Art Funds