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Architectural Typography: Two Times

September 29, 2009
photo: Fernando Guerra            www.fernandoguerra.com

photo: Fernando Guerra http://www.fernandoguerra.com

Speaking of graphic design, here is a great project by our good friends over at R2, one of Portugal’s finest young graphic design studios. Their work often intersects with the world of architecture, producing potent installations like this one that explore unexpected applications of typography in physical contexts and incite reflection on issues of culture, media, politics and society.

photo: Fernando Guerra

photo: Fernando Guerra

“Dois Tempos”, which translates from Portuguese as “Two Times”,  is a typographic intervention on the façade of the old chapel Ermida Nossa Senhora da Conceição, in Belem, near Lisbon.

Using MDF and photoluminescent paint, R2 generated a composition of published  international newspaper headlines that jut out from the façade of the chapel and glow in the dark of the night.

The piece is multi-layered in its commentary.   Humorous and bizarre headlines like “Suspicous paper bag shuts down subway for two hours” or “Oldest woman in the world dies happy” have us question the role of mass media in society, while the nature of the installation (three-dimensional, perpetual, life-size)  contrasts the transient, smaller, two-dimensional nature of its original media source: printed matter.

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photo: Fernando Guerra

Visitors can also interact with the installation, and therefore, the building, by using light to record images on the façade. A sort of  “temporary tagging”, if you will, that eventually fades to allow an infinite number of registers on its walls.

R2 Ermida 5

photo: Tiago Pinto http://www.tiago-photos.com

photo: Fernando Guerra

photo: Fernando Guerra

Because the glow-in-the-dark effect of the wall paint lasts longer than that used for the letters, the project can be seen throughout the entire day, though differently by day than by night, when the letters become progressively brighter as night falls. Thus, Two Times.

photo: Fernando Guerra

photo: Fernando Guerra

photo: Fernando Guerra

photo: Fernando Guerra

photo: Fernando Guerra

photo: Fernando Guerra
photo: Fernando Guerra

photo: Fernando Guerra

photo: Fernando Guerra

photo: Fernando Guerra

The artists!! Artur Rebelo e Lizá Ramalho = R2

The installation can be visited until January 31st, 2010.

You can check out their previous installation on the same chapel here, which garnered a series of international prizes, including an Honor Award from SEGD, a Red Dot Award and Certificate of Excellence from AIGA.

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