We know that, for a known person or object, the farther away it is from us, the smaller we see it. This perception allows us to visually appreciate the dimensions of space and the size of things, understood through perspective. Applying its laws, we aim to change the perception of the measurements of some objects to create an optical illusion that modifies the perception of space.

Taking advantage of us being in the courtyard of the Despuig Palace (which houses the School and Conservatory of Music of Tortosa) we have chosen the musical term “crescendo”, with the desire to give the impression that the stone staircase is much longer than it seems to be.

We achieve this by forcing the vanishing point of the flight of stairs with a carpet that decreases its width progressively, manipulating the height and number of steps of the existing stair and, finally, adding silhouettes of people that enhance the optical effect becoming smaller as they accompany the stair in its new dimension.

Javi Albo, Judit López, Marta López, Josep Rotger and Xavier Solsona


The team presenting the work Crescendo in the courtyard of the Despuig Palace is formed by Javi Albo, Judit López, Marta López, Josep Rotger and Xavier Solsona, all of them architects and members of the AIEM Research Group (Architecture, Energy and Environment) of the ETSAB-UPC (Barcelona School of Architecture – Polytechnic University of Catalonia).

AIEM is a multidisciplinary team of architects, engineers, physicists, and students in their final years of degree and postgraduate courses. They work in different fields of architecture, one of them being focused on ephemeral projects, participating in different festivals of temporary interventions.

Their work “Gotes de llum sobre l’empedrat” (Jardins de Llum – Gardens of Light -, Manresa 2016) proposed a trickle of drops of light that drained between the cracks of the cobblestones, highlighting the existing staircase. This project obtained a diploma in the Emporia Awards 2016, National Awards for Ephemeral Architecture. In the installation “Lavaregam” (Lluèrnia, Olot 2016) the lighting installation on the theme of Light and Fire recreated the lava of an erupting volcano in a sewer well. This project won the 2016 Emporia d’Or Award for the best ephemeral installation. Their most recent interventions are “Reculllallum” (Jardins de Llum 2017) and a proposal for Lluèrnia 2017 that will be shown during its following edition.