Grão, Details of a Larger Nature
Image reproduction system using discontinued industrial tiles
Lisbon, 2007


GRAO-cao  GRAO-relogio

“Grão” is a visual composition and reproduction system that first of all aims at giving a new life to end-of-the-line, industrially produced tiles. It also aspires to become an innovative option for the rehabilitation of the urban built heritage. It recovers discontinued production tiles, using them as units of decorative cladding panels, destined both to architectural façades and to the (re)furbishment of other urban elements. Made up of hundreds, or even thousands of tiles – the “grains” that build an image of monumental presence – these panels aspire to be part of the urban landscape in a both determined and surprising way.
The “Grão” system is thus suitable for application in large surfaces (main and side façades, walls, etc.) which encompass two possible moments for visualizing a given image, each of them corresponding to a certain distancing between panel and observer: on a human scale, it applies to anyone walking close enough to the panel that he or she can see the various designs and motives of the tiles that compose it, and on an urban scale, it is perceivable to anyone passing by from a distance, and can therefore glance at the reproduced image and obtain its total perception.
For the first real-scale test, presented at the National Tile Museum in Lisbon as part of the commemorations of the 100th anniversary of its founder, Engineer Santos Simões, in July 2007, a composition was created, which would allow to demonstrate the applicability of the system. A “Still Life” was chosen as the subject to be reproduced, not so much for its significance in Art History, or for its symbology, but for being a recurring theme in the teaching and experimentation of a particular plastic expression technique, such as painting or drawing, a sort of “test image” for future creations. It was also chosen for the eminently decorative nature of this pictorial category, easily identifiable and interpretable by any observer, regardless of his or her origin, nationality or visual culture.




Concept, exhibition design and project coordination

Graphic design
Silvia Prudêncio

This project was rendered with AndreaMosaic software

Related links
Museu Nacional do Azulejo
Cortiço e Netos