Unfinished Trajectories

Merit Award

Casa da Música in Porto, Portugal, is the Rem Koolhaas-designed concert hall space that houses the Casa da Música cultural institution and its three orchestras. Built as part of Porto’s project for European Culture Capital in 2001, it was finished in 2005 and immediately became a cultural icon in the city.

As part of its efforts to continually engage new audiences and show off the hall’s non-concert spaces, Casa de Música invited several designers and artists to create installations, providing them with a €5,000 budget for production.

R2 Design’s installation, Unfinished Trajectories, focused on creating a visual reflection of visitors’ emotions and viewpoints inspired by the spaces within Casa de Música. The objective was to list, classify, contextualize, and map the resulting content. The visitors’ experiences are represented in various forms, which generated a series of unfinished musical “scores” based on a wide array of details. R2’s goal was to question standard trajectories and propose new possibilities.

The book Unfinished Trajectories served as an informal framework for experiencing the space. Open books were laid on each step of a stairwell, hung from cables suspended from the ceiling, and juxtaposed with the architecture in other unexpected ways. Graphic elements and images from the book spreads, such as stripes, ran off the pages and continued on floors and walls, interacting with text related to the room.

The installation was intended to provide visitors with new ways of discovering spaces. It was an unfinished project, delivering improbable and sometimes absurd results.

Jury Comments: 

“One of the few submissions that invited discovery and interpretation (from the visitor’s point of view, not the curator’s), this exhibit operates almost as an antithesis to accepted ways of wayfinding and exhibition design. The submission suggests an overall emotional experience in which incompleteness produces delight.”

Design Firm: 

R2 Design


Casa Da Musica

Location City: 

Porto, Portugal

Open Date: 


Project Budget: 


Photo Credits: 

Nelson Garrido

Design Team: 

Lizá Ramalho, Artur Rebelo (principals in charge/designers)




Norprint (book printer), Dupla Ruptura (vinyl graphics)

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