AMES, Iowa — A dashing dachshund, flickering flames, floating bubbles and falling snowflakes are among the varied animations designed by the Iowa State University Design Social Club for a display at Reiman Gardens’ 2023 Winter Wonderscape Holiday Light Show.

Sponsored by the College of Design and projected on the property’s Hillside Water-wise Garden, the display features work by eight students majoring in graphic design, industrial design and architecture with assistance from faculty advisor Alex Braidwood, associate professor of graphic design. Club members held a workshop to create their designs and Braidwood compiled them using mapping software.

The projection mapping changes scenes about every 30 seconds, and imagery ranges from colorful abstract shapes to the aforementioned flames to a retro arcade game character. Keen-eyed viewers will note that what looks like cut-paper snowflakes are created using silhouettes of butterflies, which tie into Reiman Gardens’ Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing.

In its fourth year, the Winter Wonderscape immersive walk-through light show runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings throughout December. Timed-entry tickets are available for purchase online.


Alex Braidwood, Associate Professor of Graphic Design,
Lauren Johnson, College of Design Communications Specialist,