REFLEX was an exhibition celebrating the Portuguese Constitution of 1911 and the process behind its making, featuring text excerpts, parliamentary speeches, images, cartoons, and original documents.
Designed by P-06 Atelier, REFLEX was installed in the antechamber of the Parliament within the Assembly of the Republic. Up from July to October 2011, the display consisted of a single 3- by-14-meter volume located in the center of the ornately decorated room. The volume was mirrored on one side, creating a series of reflections that allowed for a different perception of the space, and created unexpected visual and formal occurrences. The mirrored side featured the exhibition title and a single object: the original 1911 Constitution. On the opposite side, a generous "light box" narrated the story behind the Constitution in a graphic timeline emulating the newspapers of the time.
Nuno Gusmão (design director); Giuseppe Greco, Joana Proserpio (designers)
“The project gives form to the abstract (the Constitution) and allows this paper document to inhabit the real place of government. This marriage of the conceptual and the physical also helps to reveal the Constitution as a living document.”
“To be able to work with such a highly decorated space without interrupting it makes for brilliant design. The use of the mirror through the center of the space is almost invisible, becoming one with the architecture.
“This is brilliant. It takes a while to even realize what has happened in this space, it is so beautiful. This is such a mature response to historical architectural intervention that I now find it difficult to imagine a better way to do it.”
“When faced with the reality of such a rich, visually stimulating environment, it is refreshing to see not only see the resistance for the graphic treatment to compete but to actually have the space enrich the solution. It's amazing to see an interpretive piece of this relative scale virtually disappear in the room—magical. One can imagine absorbing the subject matter and content and then taking a seat to reflect and be transported back in time.”