Risking Reality

Merit Award

The Arriscar o Real (Risking Reality) exhibition at the Berardo Collection Museum in Lisbon focuses on various artists who have explored the mimesis (imitation) of reality and transformed this question into a paradox. Divided into three sections with corresponding spaces, the exhibition explores the meaning of the real and figurative in space. Rather than relying solely on an interpretive approach, R2 Design used three-dimensional typography to intervene directly in the 3,000-sq.-meter space.

Three-dimensional letters made of Intasa MDF sheets were placed on the entrance hall floor, forming the words “Arriscar o Real.”  However, the manner in which these letters were read altered in accordance with the observer’s viewpoint. The exhibition was held on the ground floor of the museum, with access via a ramp or stairs. The words “Arriscar o Real” could be read more clearly from the upper floor and at the top of the stairs or ramp. As visitors drew nearer to the letters, their ability to read the sentence decreased.

The 1,275-mm-high by 700-mm-wide letterforms were also used as seating.

R2 used color to guide visitors’ movement through the exhibition. The impact of red in the entrance hall was progressively attenuated to shades of gray applied in different sections of the museum. In this manner, the visitor’s itinerary evolved from darker to lighter shades.

Jury Comments: 

“Excellent use of color and form to create an engaging and informative exhibit.”

“I love how the typography became furniture and sculpture.”

Design Firm: 

R2 Design


Berardo Collection Museum

Location City: 

Lisbon, Portugal

Project Area: 


Open Date: 


Project Budget: 


Photo Credits: 

Fernando Guerra

Design Team: 

Lizá Ramalho, Artur Rebelo (art directors/designers)




Construcções Sampaio (3D letters, wall text) 

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