new york-based design studio, SOFTlab, has designed two light installation projects that create a circular array of responsive mirrors and LEDs. the first, ‘iris’, has been installed in the klementinum mirror chapel as part of prague’s 2018 signal festival, the mirrors rotate in response to the movement of people in the circular space while the LEDs respond to ambient sound, generating a totally immersive experience.

SOFTlab creates circular light installation of movement responsive mirrors and LEDs
image courtesy of signal festival

 

 

the circular shape can be thought of as a lens, or ‘iris’, that reflects both light and sound. the installation by SOFTlab is meant to blend light and sound through its capacity to focus and unfocus these mediums. as the mirrors rotate, they allow not only direct views of the mirror chapel, but also views of the surrounding chapel, viewers and light, in a vertically fragmented and panoramic image. both the intricate nature of the mirror chapel’s architecture and its use as a classical concert hall drive the design of the installation.

SOFTlab creates circular light installation of movement responsive mirrors and LEDs
the experience is heightened as the lights blend in with the ornate architecture and tiled floor
image courtesy of signal festival

 

 

‘iris’ has been designed not as an object, image, or artifact on its own, but an installation that relies on the existing space as the medium. as it bends, multiplies and conflates light and sound it calls into question the lenses (both mechanical and cultural) that limit or expand our spatial experiences.

SOFTlab creates circular light installation of movement responsive mirrors and LEDs
during the festival, visitors activate the installation through sound and their movement
image courtesy of signal festival

SOFTlab creates circular light installation of movement responsive mirrors and LEDs
as the mirrors rotate, the installation blends the site’s various reflections
image courtesy of signal festival

SOFTlab creates circular light installation of movement responsive mirrors and LEDs
festival-goers watch the impromptu performance created by people and the installation
image courtesy of signal festival

SOFTlab creates circular light installation of movement responsive mirrors and LEDs
the rotation of the mirrors are controlled by tracking people in the interior of the installation
image courtesy of signal festival

SOFTlab creates circular light installation of movement responsive mirrors and LEDs
the vertical LEDs respond to sound designed for the installation
image courtesy of signal festival

SOFTlab creates circular light installation of movement responsive mirrors and LEDs
the mirrors orient themselves to face the nearest person
image courtesy of signal festival

SOFTlab creates circular light installation of movement responsive mirrors and LEDs
a festival-goer responds to the installation’s movements and vice versa, producing a dance-like performance
image courtesy of signal festival

 

 

SOFTlab has also proposed the project ‘mirror mirror’, an interactive public artwork coming to the city of alexandria, virginia in 2019. this interactive artwork will be installed at the new king street park at the waterfront from march to november 2019. explaining his inspiration for this piece, szivos notes, ‘for mirror mirror we were inspired by the architecture of the lighthouse and how it uses a lenticular lens to cast light, panoramically connecting land and sea.’

SOFTlab creates circular light installation of movement responsive mirrors and LEDsimage courtesy of SOFTlab

 

 

like a lighthouse, ‘mirror mirror’ will act as a beacon, beckoning visitors to venture into the new king street park, interact with the artwork and explore and enjoy the new public plaza and civic space. the artwork takes the form of an opened circle, 25 feet in diameter and approximately 8 feet high, that visitors can walk inside and around. this structure, like a lighthouse, is both a place to look outward at your surroundings and a beacon to be seen from afar and watched. 

SOFTlab creates circular light installation of movement responsive mirrors and LEDs
image courtesy of SOFTlab

 

 

playing with the ideas of reflection and refraction of light, the interior and exterior of the installation are clad with a mirrored surface that reflects the surrounding environment in unexpected ways. the interior’s mirrored surface is tinted with the full color spectrum, providing another layer of vibrancy and interest. the artwork is also programmed to respond to sound with light, allowing visitors to interact with the artwork and affect its appearance using their voices and bodies, resulting in a very interactive installation.

SOFTlab creates circular light installation of movement responsive mirrors and LEDs
image courtesy of SOFTlab SOFTlab creates circular light installation of movement responsive mirrors and LEDs
image courtesy of SOFTlab

 

 

project info:

 

‘iris’

 

designer: SOFTlab

location: the klementinum mirror chapel, prague

 

 

‘mirror mirror’

 

designer: SOFTlab

location: alexandria, virginia, USA

 

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: lynne myers | designboom

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