P.S./I.S. 163's Permanent Art Installation

"Figure It Out" by David Opdyke 2011. 

Permanent Installation at P.S./I.S. 163: The Bath Beach School
Commissioned by the New York City Department of Education and the New York City School Construction Authority Public Art for Public Schools Program, in collaboration with the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art Program

Figure It Out

Completion Date:



Graphite on Tyvek, stainless steel cables and hardware


132H x 168W x 504L feet


PS 163


109 Bay 14th Street, Brooklyn


SLBM Architects

Sponsor Agency:

Board of Education

Design Agency:

School Construction Authority


Each of the 455 Tyvek paper airplanes has a unique drawing in graphite that represents a moment of learning or figuring something out. The airplanes hang on 20 stainless steel cables that stretch from the west to the east end of the lobby, piercing the intermediate storefront glass. The cables are attached to steel brackets integrated into the building’s architecture. The airplanes are hung and spaced to form letters in 3 rows, spelling out:


The cables are attached out of sequence in the middle zone of the text, making it impossible to read the entire text from a single vantage point.

About the Artist...
David Opdyke received his BFA in Painting and Sculpture from the University of Cincinnati in 1992. Opdyke is a satirist of American policy and creates intricate work with obsessive detail. He is a former architectural model maker. In his work, Opdyke addresses consumption, consumerism, industry, and patriotism.


Property of P.S. 163 Bath Beach
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