CJ Mackenzie Centerpieces

We were commissioned to make centerpieces for the CJ Mackenzie Gala this year. Dr. Kay Nasser was the distinguished lecturer this year so our goal was to create centerpieces that reflected his career and accomplishments.

To reflect Dr. Nasser’s career as a civil engineer we wanted to work with materials associated with that field. We chose to work with concrete and rebar.

We started by heating and twisting the rebar into spirals.

We placed five spirals in each vase and then filled them with crushed concrete as we simultaneously weaved string lights through them to make them glow.


We included a short text to accompany the piece. This includes our intentions for the piece:

In the ancient art of Feng Shui, bamboo spirals are a symbol of good fortune. The number five is also considered auspicious because it is believed to bring fortune to the five areas of one’s life; emotional, intuitive, mental, physical and spiritual.

In the same way, our engineers plan and  design the very structures that help us to thrive and prosper as a community;  our buildings are designed and constructed to be structurally sound to keep us physically safe and out of harm’s way. Our schools are designed in a way that maximizes learning potential. Engineering intuition and design sense create roads that effectively get us where we are going. Engineering structures provide the setting for us to experience life and interact with each other. They are designed and constructed to elicit emotions and facilitate the expression of emotion amongst people. Technology is a part of humanity – we experience ourselves and the world around us through this lens. Engineers play an important role in how all people experience their sense of self and form their beliefs.

The gala was a success with an attendance of over 700 people. We feel honoured to have had the pleasure to create these pieces and hope to have the opportunity to do more in the future!


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