Richard Sweeney

Richard Sweeney



Inspired continuously by the organic forms of nature, Sweeney combines his hand-craft skills with computer-aided design and CNC manufacturing techniques to explore everyday materials and the unique outcomes they may generate.

Comprising five elements and intended for relaxation and gathering, Crystal celebrates the abundance of life present in a desert oasis, such as the detailed bark of date palms, which grow and gather around desert wadi. The work mimics its polygon base initially before embodying a sense of movement and growth as the different elements rise and twist towards the sky. Collaborating with Sweeney, UAP helped in the technical design, fabrication and installation of Crystal.

Sweeney often works within a strict geometric framework, a parameter that aids his creativity while allowing chance and spontaneity to have a voice. Combined with the more natural influences of his work, through Crystal, he employs elegant geometry and intricate linear qualities to reference traditional Islamic architecture and design gently.

UAP joined the Ithra project team in 2010 in a curatorial capacity, to work alongside Mona Khazindar in the early planning stages of the integrated art program. Ithra and Mona’s vision was ambitious, to procure and commission twelve highly site-specific artworks that spoke symbiotically to Ithra’s core philosophy and architecture, designed by the Norwegian studio Snøhetta. UAP also worked with Aramco and the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture to oversee the delivery and install of these incredible projects. 

Image credit: Cieran Murphy

#Project summary


Richard Sweeney

Artwork Title



King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture - Ithra






Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

#Related projects

Jessica Stockholder

Basel, Switzerland

Jessica Stockholder

3 squared from the riverbank & 3 squared @ half scale

Britt Salt

Shanghai, China

Britt Salt


UAP Design

Qingdao, China

UAP Design