RIBA has commissioned Sam Jacob Studio to create a new exhibition that explores how perspective drawing has been applied to the art of building for centuries and used as a tool to evoke illusory architectural spaces.
On view from May 2 through October 7 at the RIBA Architecture Gallery, the Disappear Here installation will include original drawings and early writings by some of the most talented designers in history. Visitors will become active participants within the space where deceptive murals, playful architectural structures and a newly commissioned film will trace the lineage of perspective from the Renaissance to present day. In a further twist, the system of perspective will dictate how everything in the gallery is arranged.
"Since its invention in the 15th century perspective has been a fundamental tool in the way we imagine space and design architecture," Jacob commented. "But perspective is also a kind of tyranny too, forcing its own logic onto the worlds we create. This commission gave us the opportunity to explore how perspective has not only been used to illustrate the world but also how it creates and organises the world. This continues the studio's longstanding interest in how ways of drawing shape the architecture we create. For this installation we wanted to create a space where visitors can experience the essentially illusory nature of perspective and question the making and breaking of rules."
The material on display represents some of the most distinguished examples of perspectival drawing, depicting vast imaginary spaces and imposing mega structures on a single sheet of paper. Alongside these textbook examples, the show will reveal imperfect versions; drawings that more easily reveal their constructed nature and provide an insight into the strategies employed to achieve an illusory space.