Flyboy Sculpture

Graduate Hotel NYC

The Project

Graduate Hotels partnered with Chicago-based artist Hebru Brantley and Bridgewater Studio to design and fabricate the largest commissioned sculpture of Flyboy, Hebru's iconic character IP, for its hotel Graduate Roosevelt Island. The figure reaches over the Hotel lobby desk in a curious pose, shinging light onto the lobby desk below with an over-sized, illuminated incandescent lightbulb. Flyboy's design features a durable hardcoat, virtually seamless construction and a flawless, semigloss finish.


Our challenge was to integrate Flyboy seamlessly into the surrounding lobby architecture and furniture while still maintaining access to power and an accessible installation route. We successfully determined an optimal location and preliminary install direction using provided CAD data of the building and a rough Flyboy 3D model.

A Digitally Driven Process

We were provided with a rough Flyboy 3D model and building CAD data that we used to block in the form and verify the intended installation location. After the rough concept was green lit, we acquired an 18" tall Flyboy vinyl figure, 3D scanned it, remastered the data, and posed him to fit into the Hotel space according to Hebru's vision. Employing a digital workflow allowed us to quickly process feedback, make updates to the sculpt and then preview them accurately inside a rendering of the space.

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From On-Screen to Real-life:

Once the final sculpt was approved, the model was handed off to our engineering and CNC departments. We carefully modified the 3D data to accommodate for the site's existing architecture, power requirements, support structure/framing, and efficient methods of assembly and installation. The model was then sliced into machinable parts and CNC'd from foam using a 7-Axis Kuka robot. As carved parts came off the machine, we assembled, hardcoated, sanded, painted and test fit each one.


Bridgewater executed crating and install of Flyboy as well, closely coordinating with the hotel's GC to ensure smooth delivery and setup. Our install staff worked within the confined lobby space and around on-going project construction to position, assemble and wire the giant sculpture.

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