hou de sousa's iridescent prismatic installation in georgetown frames a myriad of perspectives

hou de sousa's iridescent prismatic installation in georgetown frames a myriad of perspectives

designed by new york-based studio hou de sousa, ‘prismatic’ is a kaleidoscopic experience of light, color, and space that frames a myriad of perspectives. the piece is unique on all sides, encouraging the public to explore the exterior, as well as meander through its translucent ‘streets’. the installation consists of iridescent cords weaving between a light-weight steel lattice, and gaps between the cords providing transparency, while also producing a dynamic visual effect known as a moiré.

prismatic opened to the public on december 1st at senator h. percy plaza in georgetown waterfront park, washington DC



as visitors turn their gaze or walk about the space, patterns in the background and foreground continuously converge and de-laminate, resulting in the perception that static surfaces are somehow in motion. the form and space of the sculpture are sub-divided by a juxtaposition of geometric and contextual factors.

view looking towards arlington, virginia



the design process occurs in three phases: first, a box is cellulated by prisms radiating from a central point, followed by the echoing of contextual features, such as the outline of the water fountain and existing pathways, as well as the potomac river, which then split and spread the box apart. the result is a diverse array of apertures and perspectives, collectively focused on a central core, but shaped by one’s vantage point and relative position from within or outside the sculpture.

view looking towards the potomac river and kennedy center off in the distance



the project was assembled in brooklyn and designed to fit onto a single 46 feet flatbed truck to be transported to georgetown waterfront park for its opening at georgetown GLOW outdoor art exhibition on desember 1st. the rebar lattices were welded together, painted, and then interwoven with the iridescent cord. the result is a sturdy structure with an appealingly low ratio of weight to volume.

the kennedy center off in the distance


miles of polyester rope and paracord viewed up close


some folks meander through at dusk


just passing by




plan perspective


site plan


concept, form and space diagrams


fabrication drawing sample


project info:


designers: hou de sousa

location: georgetown waterfront park, washington DC



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: maria erman | designboom

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