WBL: iMPOSSIBLE – Research & Development

Gathering Ideas:

Architecture, to me, is a composition of shapes into a physical entity. I wanted to explore this in a 3D sense and see how I could explore this idea in a 2D digital graphic way. This made me think of optical illusions and how we can portray depth artificially through 2D mediums. I brought up a quick google search of optical illusions that do just that.

I was immediately reminded of an incredibly effective 3D illusion, regarding a cardboard T-Rex sculpture (below). This has been created by a net that folds in and out of itself.

optical illusion boxes

Thinking back to the brief, interior architecture summons up imagery of M.C. Escher’s Relativity. His isometric perspective bending stairs create a reality that, at first glance seems familiar, if unsettling and upon further inspection couldn’t possibly exist, and continues to get stranger and stranger the more you look. As your brain tries to make sense of it, you’re constantly fighting the artistry to favour reality.


Initial Ideas and Development:

A phrase I often hear for gathering ideas is to “think outside the box” which struck me as an interesting contradiction when approaching “interior” architecture. The idea of something being inside a space and creating something within it struck up this relevant imagery, so I began to create some 3D visual boxes in an isometric way, inspired by Escher and this impossible world.


The 3 colour panels seemed the most effective and simple way of confusing depth and creating an in/out the box visuality.

I experimented with a lot of different methods of removing one or more sides in different colours to create different effects, but none seemed to do the same job as the 3 colour panel flipping in and out of your field of depth. I do however hope to include these variations in some form of fluctuating animation to be projected onto some of the walls within the space, or even potentially on screens, scattered around the event.

A lot of what I was trying to do dealt with changing your perception and I wanted to see if I could explore this with text as well and hopefully lend whatever I came up with to the branding of the event. This related heavily to this poem that changes meaning as you read it from different perspectives.


I attempted to imitate this method, and although nothing jumped out at me, it did make me realise that this approach could get too wordy and distract from the point of an interior architecture show – the stalls and the visuality of architecture –

From my research and interest in these illusions and stretching the boundaries of our perceptions I derived the phase “Impossible” to have double and contradictory meanings;

  • Impossible – Not possible
  • I’m Possible – You have the potential to make it possible

I began to start using these cubes as building blocks that form a structure, despite them acting in 2 positions at once. This confuses, challenges and intrigues the viewer as their brain immediately tried to make sense of the structure in a 3D sense – this blurs the boundary of what we deem to be real, in many ways – is anything really as we perceive it to be? Is it important for it to be a constant and definite “thing”? Can something be perceived as 2 things at the same time?

These graphic sculptures will make up the majority of the wall graphics and general visual theme for the event. It all revolves around composition of shapes to create something with very little; 3 or 4 colour cubes mimicking real life shadows, creating a complex structure.


I experimented with a few different methods of creating 3D cubes and found the most effective way for tricking the eye was a 3 sided inner or outer of a cube.












I made a video of myself moving around one of these 3 sided cubes and found that the 3 tones of gradual shading made no real impact on the illusion as a reference point for shading can’t be grasped. Instead the box appears to pop in and out from being hollow, to a solid cube as you move around it and your eye is tricked.

This changed my work and instead I focussed on the 3 colour hexagon/cube shapes.





Finalised animated logo:

Whilst the logo is defined by the iMPOSSIBLE in the square, it is also defined by the hexagon (acting as an imagined 3D cube). However this illusion only works in the context of its surroundings (ie. the above animated gif and the catalogue cover below) thus allowing the logo to be used in a large variety of ways, making it versatile and interesting.













I wanted to make use of my earlier 3D cube experiment video and so derived a way of incorporating the physicality of having a cube that jumps in and out of perception with the practicality of wayfinding.

I derived these from variations of the logo and experimenting with the 3 colour cubes. The bordered card structures will be placed around the exhibition at roughly 1.5m high by 1.5m wide that can be flat packed into a net and easily folded.

The borders (derived from the animated logo) create an environment for the 3 sided inner or outer cube variation to be mis-perveived. However, no matter which way you perceive it, you are still directed to your destination around the exhibition correctly.