Too Dazzle for Camouflage…

The Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Venice is a collaboration between Tobias Rehberger and Artek furniture.  German artist Rehberger is known for using a variety of mediums to distort and manipulate perception.  When used in a three dimensional space the effect is of that to challange the viewer to see things that aren’t real there.  In this instance I find the density of the stripes combined with the angled mirror pieces at the back of the cafeteria cause the viewer to lose focus on the perspective in the room, creating a warped and disorientated environment.

One of the things I really like about the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, is that Rehberger hasn’t designed it that way purely because he can, but because the project has more meaning.

The cafeteria is a complex scheme of geometric forms with contrasting colors, a visually disorienting environment that draws from a specific example from the past. Razzle Dazzle or Dazzle camouflage was a decorative style used on ships during the First World War.  Although not technically camouflage because it did not hide the ship (it was more likely to draw attention to it), razzle dazzle was used to make it difficult for the enemy to estimate its size, type, speed and heading.  The clashing patterns made it difficult for the rangefinder to visually estimate perspective, and so the design was used as a method of confusion rather than concealment.

Where do they use this technique now? Take a guess….


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