new installation uses old lighthouse tech to beam prisms of colorful light

new installation uses old lighthouse tech to beam prisms of colorful light

mirror mirror, an interactive public artwork designed by SOFTlab, for the city of alexandria, virginia opens march 30. the artwork and its many colorful lights will be on view at the new kings street park, at the waterfront through november, 2019, and is the first artwork commissioned for site/see: new views in old town, a series of ephemeral installations on alexandria’s waterfront.

SOFTlab all images courtesy of alan tansey



SOFTlab’s installation in-the-round takes the form of an opened circle, 25 feet in diameter and 8 feet high. for visitors of the alexandria waterfront, the piece is like a lighthouse — both a place to look outward at your surroundings and a beacon to be seen from afar and watched. and, more literally, it uses the technology a lighthouse. 




the materials and interactive nature of the artwork references the special lens used at alexandria’s own historic jones point lighthouse – the fresnel lens, the most advanced lens technology the 1800s had to offer. it uses a series of prisms to concentrate light sources and directs them into a narrow horizontal beam.




the work is also programmed and responds to sound with light, allowing visitors to interact with the piece and affect its appearance using their voices and bodies. LED fixtures inside each vertical component are activated by sound and respond by producing light, transforming the front-facing panels from mirrored to transparent, while the interior panels remain mirrored, creating an infinite, colorful reflection that szivos compares to ‘a forest of light,’ for the waterfront of alexandria.



project info:


artists: SOFTlab


location: alexandria, virginia

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

art news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
507,428 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample
designboom magazine