SOFTlab is a design studio based in New York City. The studio was created by Michael Szivos shortly after receiving a graduate degree in architecture from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University.
The studio is involved in the design and production of projects across almost every medium, from digitally fabricated large-scale sculpture, to interactive design, to immersive digital video installations. As the studio adjusted to a wide range of projects, we began to focus less on the medium and style and more on ideas.
Mirror Mirror was commissioned by the City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts. The artwork takes the form of an opened circle, 25 feet in diameter and 8 feet high, that visitors can walk inside and around. This structure in-the-round, like a lighthouse, is both a place to look outward at your surroundings and a beacon to be seen from afar and watched. The materials and interactive nature of the artwork reference the special type of lens used at Alexandria’s own historic Jones Point Lighthouse – called the Fresnel lens – the most advanced lens technology of the 1800s, which used a series of prisms to concentrate the light source and direct it into a narrow horizontal beam that was projected outward.
Photo: Alan Tansey