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Taken from the French term that means “placed in the abyss”, Laetitia de Allegri and Matteo Fogale’s immersive installation at the V&A challenges the visitor’s perspective.
Mise-en-abyme, Laetitia de Allegri and Matteo Fogale’s installation for the London Design Festival positioned on the bridge over the Medieval and Renaissance galleries at the V&A, is made of floor tiling from Johnson Tiles teamed with huge transparent acrylic shapes that visitors can walk through.
The resulting effect is a changing sense of perspective when travelling from one end of the bridge to the other.
The designers explained: “What we wanted from the start was to create an experiment. Something that was not just a piece of design to look at but also an experience for the visitor. We tried to match the work with the materials, themes and colours at the location and so took the inspiration from the V&A itself.”
The theme of line drawing perspective grids, which emerged in the Renaissance period and can be seen in the large-scale objects on display below the bridge, influenced the design of the base ceramic tiling of the flooring. Johnson Tiles created these using advanced Artile technology which prints a bespoke colour design onto the tiles – each section has 3% less colour than the one before to create a gradient effect from one end to the other. The pale colours of each transparent acrylic frame above them also vary in different outlines and shades to create a subtle, almost floating effect that complements the materials on display in the adjacent Glass galleries and optimises the natural light of the grand museum.