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Brief Published: 26 Nov 2013

Lucid Stead Light Installation by Phillip K. Smith III


American artist Phillip K. Smith recently transformed an abandoned shack in the middle of the Californian high desert into an interactive light installation, called Lucid Stead.

Mirrored panels were added to the exterior walls of a 70-year-old building to enhance its wooden façade and create an illusion of transparency. During the day, the horizontal bands of mirrors reflect the building’s environment and enable it to blend inconspicuously into the vast desert background.

After dark, white light is projected through the walls of the cabin to reveal the building’s striped framework. The windows and doors, which are also inlaid with mirrors, slowly transform into brightly coloured rectangles that subtly change in hue. These effects are caused by an LED lighting system. 

The building effectively stands as a passive reflective structure by day, and a dynamic illuminated building by night. For more on the emerging design trend redefining the aesthetics of camouflage by using reflective materials like mirrors, read our report Under The Radar.