In collaboration with Johnson Tiles, designers Laetitia de Allegri and Matteo Fogale have created Mise-en-abyme, a colourful and immersive installation for the bridge over the Medieval and Renaissance galleries in the V&A at the London Design Festival 2015.

Art at London Design Festival


The centerpeices of the London Design Festival are its commissions, the Landmark Projects created with the help of the generous supporters. For these Landmark Projects the Festival commission some of the world’s greatest architects and designers to create pieces of work in London’s best-loved public spaces.

Johnson Tiles Mise-en-abyme1

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The London Design Festival  2015 participant Laetitia grew up in Switzerland and graduated in Industrial design from ECAL ‘Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne’. Matteo was born in Uruguay and moved to Italy where he graduated in Industrial design at IUAV Facolta’ di Design e Arti in Venice.


They are both fascinated by the discovery of one-point perspective during the Renaissance period, so they created a landscape of overlapping semi-transparent shapes playing with the viewers sense of perspective. “Mise-en-abyme” is a French term that literally translates as “placed into abyss”, and refers to the experience of walking through the installation.

London Design Festival

Creating an illusion of exaggerated depth that draws the viewer into the work, the grout lines of the tiles lining the bridge represent the perspective grid lines found on Renaissance drawings, . Each tile features a custom pattern of gradating colour that makes the landscape across the bridge appear to open outward or to close inward, depending on the visitor’s point of view.

Mise-en-abyme a colorful and immersive about the Renaissance period1

Contrasting with the pale interiors of the surrounding galleries and the creamy marble sculptures within them, the designers have created a coloured acrylic panels layered across the length of the bridge. These  semi-transparent panels also reference the V&A’s colourful glass and stained glass collections displayed in nearby galleries. As visitors move across the bridge, they pass through increasingly small openings in these panels, a literal design interpretation of perspective translated to three-dimensional space that offers an immersive experience.

Mise-en-abyme a colorful and immersive about the Renaissance period

“We wanted to create an abstractminstallation with a strong visual effect that is light and floating, in contrast to the heavy marble surroundings in these galleries,” say the designers. “Mise-en-abyme is not just something to look at. It is something to experience.” – said the designers.

London Design Festival 2015 Preview – Mise-en-Abyme by Laetitia de Allegri and Matteo Fogale at the V&A from London Design Festival on Vimeo.

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