Aquaria. Or the Illusion of a Boxed Sea

Visual identity and graphic design
curated by Angela Rui
exhibition design by 2050+
maat Lisbon
18.3–6.9.2021
maat.pt

in collaboration with Alice Guarnieri


The visual identity conceived for Aquaria aims to trigger a self-reflective awareness of the ambiguities of perception. The aquarium is conceptualised through a series of impossible forms based on the Necker cube (1832). Impossible objects, also known as undecidable figures, act as a kind of optical illusion consisting of a two-dimensional figure which is instantly and subconsciously interpreted as representing a projection of a three-dimensional object – not unlike a “boxed sea” mise-en-scène. The exhibition research imagery has been processed to generate a fluid graphic medium for the box to appear as an ever-changing image. The overall sense of ambiguity is enhanced by a typeface of variable proportions – Garaje Multi by Thomas Huot-Marchand – and the RGB blue colour theme, commonly used for idealised oceans, as well as the luminous flatness of a screen interface.