Lasermaze Detroit

Lasermaze Detroit






Detroit Design Festival






Keenan Hastings


Lasermaze is an architectural installation formed from three miles of UV wool and over 3000 hand tied knots suspended from an industrial structure of steel scaffolding and chains created for the 2015 Detroit Design Festival. Lasermaze was located along the Dequindre Cut, a former railway line in Detroit that has been converted to a greenway and walking track.


Lasermaze’s playful structure invites visitors to get lost within a unique surreal space as they journey towards the centre. The complex geometry of the form combined with the ethereal, semi-transparent nature of the walls adds to the challenge of this spatial puzzle. The dividing walls of the maze are formed from glowing string which creates a physical barrier but not an obviously visible one. Within the maze the layers of string and the barriers they form become almost imperceptible from each other, creating an overwhelming feeling of being lost within a distorted, surreal reality. In addition the unique glowing nature of the maze means that at night it acts as a beacon, encouraging people to interact, play and attempt the challenge of navigating their way through to the centre.


The two primary materials for the maze are a heavy weight steel frame, combined with light-weight wool thread. These materials have been selected due to their contrasting properties. The robust, rough steel scaffolding frame represents Detroit’s past while the light weight, glowing thread represents its future. The main structure of the Lasermaze is a simple 22ft x 22ft grid of steel scaffolding. From this rigid structure a series of steel chains are stretched as required. These chains act as a secondary structure from which the three miles of UV wool is threaded and knotted over 3000 times to form the intricate flowing geometry of the maze.