A Splendid Mirage

It’s rare that we get a break from the business, but when we do, we love to hop in the car and head to Palm Springs. It’s a modernist mecca for design, so we never fail to be inspired by what we see, either out in the landscape or inside the town’s amazing shops, galleries and maker spaces.

On our last trip, we were out driving around the usually quiet desert roads when we came upon a snake of cars going up into the San Jacinto mountain range that overlooks the town.

Our curiosity could not be denied. So we got in line and chugged up the hill with the other thrill seekers. When we reached the top, what we saw took our breath away: a piece of land art the likes of which we’d never seen. It was a classic, ranch-style house clad in mirror on every available surface and reflecting the surrounding desert landscape in an almost kaleidoscopic way. It was, in a word, stunning.

“As Mirage pulls the landscape in and reflects it back out, this classic one-story suburban house becomes a framing device, a perceptual echo-chamber endlessly bouncing between the dream of nature as pure uninhabited state and the pursuit of its conquest,” says the artist Douglas Aitken.

Mirage was part of DesertX, a series of art installations throughout the Coachella Valley, a series that ended April 30. Make sure to get on their mailing list for next year: