Horror Vacui / Jaffer Kolb, Ang Li + Phoebe Springstubb / Lisbon Architecture Triennale

This building in the centre of Lisbon has been covered with 2,000 individual tiles printed with pictures of the city taken by a variety of photographers. The images aggregate to construct a blue-and-white image of the building behind them. The installation, Horror Vacui, was designed by New York-based architects Jaffer Kolb, Ang Li and Phoebe Springstubb for the Lisbon Architecture Triennale between September and December 2013, but it will stay in situ until the end of January.


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 tiles. 

It was no longer about one man and one conquest, but about thousands of different stories which together form a kind of meta mural
— Kolb

Autodesk helped the architects build a 3D model by taking 250 photos from different angles, and created an algorithm that determined where the pictures should go. "When someone sent in a photo, the program would place it into this bigger picture," says Springstubb, 28. This is the first major project the friends have worked on since they graduated from the Princeton University School of Architecture in 2012.

It’s an opportunity to rethink the idea of democratising storytelling
— Kolb

Via wired