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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Desert Illusions

Desert Illusions

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Sunday, February 8, 2015/Categories: art and design, environment

Deserts are famous for their optical illusions,  mirages  , created by heat rising off the landscape. The artist Phillip K. Smith III has accomplished the same illusion with his visionary building in the Mojave Desert known as: Lucid Stead . According to his bio, Smith received his training in fine arts and architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design and pushes the boundaries of the 20th Century movement known as  modernism  by:

"drawing inspiration from the cold rigidity of the Bauhaus movement, the reductive geometries of minimalism, and the optic sensation of California’s Light and Space movement and attempts to resolve the complex challenge of finding a natural state of life and spirit within these ideological aesthetic constrictions. The results are deceptively simple, compelling objects that seem to breath and move as you observe and interact with them."

Nothing could be a better example of his approach than the desert shack he created in the Mojave Desert. Using mirrors in place of wooden siding, the building reflects the dry landscape in a 360 degree perspective creating the illusion the structure is a natural piece of the environment itself. It provides a completely new perspective to the idea of "living in a place".

Lucid Shead by Phillip K. Smith III, Mojave Desert, California (photo credits:  Lucid Stead )

The artist commented that his building:

"is about tapping into the quiet and the pace of change of the desert.  When you slow down and align yourself with the desert, the project begins to unfold before you.  It reveals that it is about light and shadow, reflected light, projected light, and change.

For protection, the mirrored building is closed to the public but a video describes the artist and his project:



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