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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

The Conservation Alliance

Desert Illusions
Hugh Bollinger

Desert Illusions

Lucid Stead at night (credit: Phillip K. Smith III)

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 effect with a visionary building in the Mojave Desert, Lucid Stead. Smith studied fine arts and architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design and decided to push the boundaries of the 20th Century movement modernism:

"by drawing inspiration from the rigidity of the Bauhaus movement, the reductive geometries of minimalism, and the sensations of California’s Light and Space movement to resolve the challenge of finding a natural state of life and spirit within these ideological aesthetic constrictions."

Nothing could be a better example of his approach than a shack he created in the Mojave Desert. Using mirrors in place of wooden siding, the building reflects the dry vistas with a 360 degree perspective and crafts an illusion that the structure is a piece of the environment itself.
Lucid Stead offers a completely new perspective about immaging a natural landscape.


                                                    Lucid Shead at dawn and day, Mojave Desert, California (credit: Phillip K. Smith III)

Smith commented that his building:"is about tapping into the quiet and the pace of change in 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 the building's protection, it is closed to the public but a video describes the installation. WHB

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