Surface Multiples: Hiding in Plain Sight, is a series of projects by Royal College of Art graduate Alex Fergusson. Whilst creating work exploring ornamental language and symbolism in contemporary architecture, Alex began to notice buildings masked with digital printed imagery of architectural facades – often with no relationship to the building it covers. It was this sense of irony that first prompted the Surface Multiples series. “The element of humour and pantomime expressed through these temporary architectures was my initial interest, and as the project progressed I realised that the multiplications of surface (of this kind) are not only limited to architectural facades, but also the built environment, in particular construction sites across London.”
The documentation of these construction and building sites then became the primary focus of the project which formed the actual publication. Surface Multiples: Hiding in Plain Sight records and discusses the new aesthetics of the built environment which are transforming derelict areas of cities into “imagined utopias” through the use of digital imagery. It does this through written discourse, found imagery and case studies. For example the Sochi Winter Olympics, the Russian town of Suzdal and Petmkin village – a term used to describe any construction (literal or figurative) built solely to deceive others into thinking the situation is better than it is.
As a series of projects, Surface Multiples is “concerned with the concealment of truth in public spaces and the surface graphic as a powerful and provocative visual statement.” We asked Alex about his predictions for the future of architecture in relation to our sense of reality: “as these constructs of graphic landscaping increase, I envision our temporary architectures to only stray further from the reality of the world we currently live in, with a greater disregard to architectures own spatial and situational relevance.”
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor. Get in contact with Ruby about ideas you may have for long-form stories on the site.