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Joe O'Connell

4141 E Irvington Rd
Tucson, AZ 85716, U.S.A.
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Phone: 5202940939     Fax: 520-294-0848

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Joe O’Connell, Creative Machines

4141 E. Irvington Rd.

Tucson, AZ 85714



Joe O’Connell founded his studio, Creative Machines, in 1995. His studio develops the detail design, interactive technology, bespoke lighting, and singular fabrication techniques, which are the signatures of his art. His work has been shown in galleries and at festivals across the country including the Accel Design Conference, Spark! Mesa’s Festival of Creativity, Chalk the Block, Glow, All Souls Procession, Firestone Gallery, and the Joseph Gross Gallery. Throughout his career, Joe has at times collaborated with other artists and designers (including Nina Borgia-Aberle & Blessing Hancock) on specific projects to co-develop concepts for artwork, melding his interests in science and perception with other perspectives.




Joe leads the creation and integration of public art within the site. He also oversees the process of community engagement.




-University of California at San Diego, 1993, Graduate Program in Sociology/Science.

-Princeton University, 1992, Graduate Program in History of Science. Visiting scholar supported by NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

-Bachelor of Arts, University of Chicago, 1989. Highest honors, Phi Beta Kappa,

-Rutgers University, 1987, Program.NSF undergraduate grant for research.




-2017, Best Of Arts & Entertainment, Houston Press, Best Art Installation, Wings Over Water

-2017, Santa Barbara Beautiful, Presidential Award: MOXI The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation

-2015, Gold Award of Excellence, Outdoor/Environmental Advertising Trade Show Exhibit from the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts, Lite-BiTE

-2015, Mayor’s Urban Design Awards, City Of Calgary, Chinook Arc

-2014, Public Art Network Year in Review, Americans for the Arts

-2013, Transformative Design Award, SXSW Eco ‘Place By Design’ Award




 Creative Machines is a multi-disciplinary design and fabrication company led by Joe O’Connell. Our company includes 35 unique individuals with backgrounds in art, engineering, design, architecture and fabrication. We would greatly appreciate an opportunity to work with you. Our 75,000 s.f. shop in Tucson, Arizona is devoted entirely to pushing the boundaries of public art and interactive exhibits through comprehensive prototyping and fabrication. Smart, inquisitive people and extensive capabilities in electronics, CNC machining and 3D forming gives us the ability to explore pioneering materials and processes. Creative Machines has created and installed public art and exhibits for clients throughout the world. Because we take projects from start to finish, we can prototype ideas extensively during the design process and can respond quickly to whatever obstacles and opportunities arise during fabrication. With comprehensive resources under one roof, we can extend a consistency of vision to all aspects of a project.




-Codes, Flagler Banyan Square, West Palm Beach, FL, $700,000, currently commissioned

-Bends Toward Justice, MLK Jr. Innovation Corridor, Atlanta, GA, $250,000 currently commissioned

-Body Politic, Lenexa Civic Center Campus, Lenexa, KS, $180,000, 2018

-Shimmering Sea, The Watermark, Tempe, AZ, $121,000, currently commissioned

-City of Stars, Multi-Generational Recreation Center, Grapevine, TX, $200,000, 2018

-Elements, Campos Verdes, Irvine, CA, $112,000, currently commissioned

-Earth’s Blanket, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, $282,500, 2017

-Rising Star, The Gables Rolfe Street Plaza, Rockville, MA, $112,000, currently commissioned

-Growing Home, Ballpark Village, San Diego, CA, $350,000, currently commissioned

-Crescent, Four Seasons, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, $185,000, 2017

-Din Don Ball Machine Restoration, Umie Shopping Center, Kobe, Japan, $330,000, 2017

-As Above, So Below, Four Seasons, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, $185,000, 2016

-Sprouts, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phoenix, AZ, $172,000, 2017

-Convergence, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, $165,000, 2017

-Puzzle Wall, ASCO Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, $230,000, 2016

-Latent Energy, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX, $220,000, 2017

-Wings Over Water, George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX $1,400,000 2016

-MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Innovation + Exploration, Santa Barbara, CA, $5,600,000, 2017

-Twilight Garden, Morris Plaza, Mesa, AZ, $100,000, 2015

-Sound Machine, MOXI, Santa Barbara, CA, $125,000, 2016

-Wet Wheel, Tucson, AZ, $100,000, currently commissioned

-Stories Interweave, Colfax Avenue Bridge, Aurora, CO, $300,000, 2017

-Ellipsis, Alma Park, Walnut Creek, $200,000, currently commissioned

-Le Reve de Newton, Pass Museum, Frameries Belgium, $160,000, 2015

-Lenses, Scottsdale Quarter, Scottsdale, AZ, $800,000, 2015

-Lite-Bite, ASH & ASCO Annual Meetings, $230,000, 2014

-Piole Kabuto, piole Himeji, Himjei, Japan, $85,000, 2014

-Exploratorium, Kayseri Science Center, Kayseri, Turkey, $123,000, 2015

-Texas Rising, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX*, $485,000, 2014

-Color Wash, Pantano Wash, Tucson, AZ*, $99,000, 2017

-Hurricane of Words, Encino Branch Library, San Antonio, TX*, $100,000, 2014

-Philosopher’s Stone, Chengdu, China*, $60,000, 2014

-Adcetris, ASH & ASCO Annual Meetings, $220,000, 2013

-Camaraderie, Department of Veterans Affairs, Palo Alto, CA*, $300,000, 2018

-Mirror of Thoughts, Rockville Town Square, Rockville, MD*, $200,000, 2015

-The Thinkery, Austin, TX, $531,000, 2013

-Small Talk About the Weather, Oklahoma City, OK*, $185,000, 2016

-Bloom, Women & Children’s Hospital, Hoffman Estates, IL, $105,000, 2014

-On Display, South Broadway Renovation, Denver, CO*, $250,000, 2015

-Ballroom Luminoso, 1-35 Underpass, San Antonio, TX*, $100,000, 2013

-Fish Bellies, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX*, $250,000, 2013

-Heart Beacon, Emergency Coordination Center, Portland, OR*, $150,000, 2013

-Inspiria, Sarpsborg, Norway, $405,275, 2011

-Line and Sky, The Commonlink, Shreveport, LA*, $750,000, currently commissioned

-Chinook Arc, Barb Scott Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada*, $500,000, 2014

-Brilliance, Main Library and Arts Center, Palo Alto, CA*, $200,000, 2014

-Pusat Sains Negara, Kuala Lumpur, $161,000, 2010

-Cyclorama, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL*, $130,000, 2012

-Empire of Giants, Ross Ave Gateway, Dallas, TX*, $150,000, currently commissioned

-Origo Environment Sphere, Inspira, Sarpsborg, Norway*, $35,000, 2011

-Utah Bit and Mine, Midvale Light Rail, Midvale, UT**, $130,000, 2011

-Seed Pods, Tinsletown, The Woodlands, TX*, $325,000, currently commissioned

-Cocoon, Houghton Road Corridor Improvements, Tucson, AZ**, $200,000, 2014

-Wandering Stars, Tucson Modern Streetcar, Tucson, AZ*, $130,000, 2013

-Bends Towards Justice, MLK Tower, Tucson, AZ, $170,000, currently commissioned

-SEED[pop!], Art for the Solar Decathlon, Washington DC*, $25,000, 2009

-Toby, Scott Avenue Renovation, Tucson, AZ, $75,000, 2009

-Bike Church, Barrio Anita Neighborhood, Tucson, AZ, $90,000, 2009

-Durango Discovery Museum Durango, CO, $125,000, 2010

phaeno, Wolfsburg, Germany, $151,000, 2010

-Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, $80,000, 2010

-Alqanater Children’s Museum, Cairo, Egypt, $125,000, 2009

-Science Centre Singapore, Central Area, Singapore, $202,000, 2009

-National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, $110,000, 2008

-Anchorage Museum, Anchorage, AK, $364,000, 2008

-Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA, $68,000, 2008

-VILVITE, Bergen, Norway, $192,000, 2008

-Public Drums, Ochoa Park, Tucson, AZ, $40,000, 2008

-Wondrous, Wheeler Taft Abbett Sr. Public Library, Marana, AZ, $100,000, 2008

-Don Harrington Discovery Center, Amarillo, TX, $125,000, 2008

-Liberty Science Center, Jersey City,NJ, $373,275, 2007

-Color Factory, Discovery Gateway, Salt Lake City, UT, $130,000, 2006

-Children’s Museum of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, $130,000, 2006

-Bishop Museum, Honolulu, HI, $586,000, 2005

-Desert O, Luminarias del Pueblo, Tucson, AZ, $75,000, 2004

-California Science Center, Los Angeles, CA, $435,000, 2004

-Denver Museum of Natural Science, Denver, CO, $110,000, 2001

-Leepa Rattner Museum of Art, Tarpon Springs, FL, $189,000, 2000

-Gulfcoast Wonder and Imagination Zone, Sarasota, FL, $120,000, 1999

-Discovery Science Center, Santa Ana, CA, $245,000, 1998


*Collaboration with Blessing Hancock

**Collaboration with Nina Borgia-Aberle & Blessing Hancock