The Informatics Forum is not just labs and offices – there’s also a number of artworks in and around the building.
Before the building was open Eduardo Paolozzi’s estate made a bequest of several of his pieces to the university. The pieces include a set of Turing prints, currently on display in the Forum’s Turing Room on level 5, and a number of chrome and bronze sculptures, one of which is located in the café area on the ground floor of the Forum.
Here’s a quote from Professor Michael Fourman, who was the head of the School of Informatics at the time of the bequest: "Paolozzi was fascinated by the relationship between the organic and the mechanical, the representational and the abstract; the relationship between man and machine. These themes are central to our research, and these artworks will be used to help visitors understand more about informatics."
If you are on the ground floor of the Forum you can’t miss the portrait of our former Vice-Principal, Sir Tim O’Shea. The portrait by Victoria Crowe is a full-size copy of the portrait that used to reside outside of his office and was said to be a favourite of his.
Two pieces of public art were commissioned to mark the merger of the University with Edinburgh College of Art in 2011: William Darrell’s Rhino Head and Davy Forsyth’s Byte on the Haynes Nano Stage. Both are also a tribute to Jim Haynes and his Paperback Bookshop which once stood on the same site as the Forum in the 1960s.
Rhino Head - the bronze Indian rhino head on the wall of the Informatics Forum is a tribute to the eyecatching rhino head that hung outside Jima Haynes’ bookshop. Davy Forsyth Bite Book is a stainless steel hardback book placed on the so-called nano stage, an homage to bookshop owner Jim Haynes’ involvement in the Festival Fringe and Traverse Theatre.
An augmented reality app reviving Jim Haynes Paperback Bookshop was created as part of this year’s Festival of Creative Learning. The app is a collaborative effort of Aleya Dwivedi from Edinburgh College of Art and Andra Zaharia from the School of Informatics and is available from Apple Store.
Many thanks to Liv Laumenech, University’s Public Art Officer for all the info about artworks in Informatics (and around).