Phillip K Smith III is one of the most interesting architect-turned-artist of our days. Smith, who grew up in Palm Springs, cites the desert and barren landscapes as being major influences on his work.
He studied architecture at Rhode Island School of Design, before moving on to practice as an artist. He loves large-scale projects that require him to be one part artist, one part architect, one part city planner – but the one thing that claws into his mind given his training is a real respect for the site and the context. Look at “Lucid Stead”, set in the Californian High Desert: the installation saw a 70-year old shack covered in mirrored strips, to create the illusion that you can see right through the building.
Lucid Stead is about tapping into the quiet and the pace of change of 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.