Jaffer Kolb, Ang Li, Phoebe Springstubb. Horror Vacui, Lisbon Triennale 2013.

“Embedding architecture into critical economic systems was central to the installation Horror Vacui. The project paired local manufacturers with Autodesk to produce a large-scale façade made of thousands of tiles—each a photograph contributed by the public. From afar, the tiles aggregated as pixels into a reproduced image of the building façade behind. Up close, they could be read individually as discrete stories, an idea rooted in Lisbon’s blue-and-white tile murals depicting heroic narratives …”

From Wired UK: “The name (“fear of openness”) comes from a 15th century technique of making historical blue-and-white murals out of painted tiles. For a modern interpretation, Kolb and his associates replaced the façade with crowdsourced photos of Lisbon's interiors and exteriors printed on tiels. 'It was no longer about one man and one conquest, but about thousands of different stories which together form a kind of meta-mural', says Kolb.”

Valentina Ciuffi in Abitare: “from close-up the façade of the building, the ceramic skin that follows its external forms, looked at azulejo after azulejo, turns out to be a controlled journey into the “belly” of a thousand different buildings. This shift towards the intimacy of spaces is an even stronger spur to personal narration, a stimulus to interpret, to relate to the city in a less passive and perhaps in an “emotional” way. Something that Michel de Certeau would have loved to find in his streets.”

With permission from Jaffer Kolb.