Hiding in Plain Sight


This project is about placing a riddle and answer in an environment harmoniously. Through the analysis of the the space and its  details, the riddle’s text will naturally reside amongst the area. There is a 4 dimensional component in this assignment, where the observer interacts with the design through movement and perspective. Using this interactive element allows for a hide and reveal of the solution. To communicate this harmony, the design is influenced by the gestalt principles, positive/negative space, static/dynamic intentions, and organic/geometric shapes. Spatial observational analysis techniques establish which concepts are prioritized or supplementary.




My final project exists in the back-entrance way to one of Hayes Hall’s stairwells. The riddle reads, “if you throw me from the window, I will leave a grieving wife/Bring me back in the door, and you’ll see someone giving life”  and the solution is the letter “N”. When one removes “n” from window, it reads widow (a grieving wife) and when one adds “n” to door, it reads donor (someone who saves a life).  The concept is about how adding and removing just a singular component creates new meaning, similar to how being part of the building or out of the building changes an entire perspective. Doorways signify the moment of change, just as the letter “N” does in those words. The observer must undergo this transition and be aware of the image as whole, not as individual parts. Overall, this will cultivate a linear process of paying attention to the door’s parts, then the sign’s text, as well as the complete image once inside. The elements and principles incorporated in the concealment are shape, space, and movement. The outside door has the riddle and the inside communicates the answer in the negative space. The gestalt principle of figure-ground relationship is demonstrated there. The text emulates the straight, geometry of the door, and the transparency of the window and pre-existing signs are mirrored in the material, clear static-cling vinyl.


This assignment was completed through the following steps.

  • Analyze a space and capture its details in terms of Elements and Principles
  • Choose a riddle that coordinates with the environment
  • Consider how an observer can interact with the hid and reveal of the riddle
    • Use a 4D component (time, movement, sensory aspect).
  • Select the appropriate tools and materials for installment
    • Complementary to the environment’s details
  • Adjust and experiment until satisfied with final result
Process of spatial analysis, material choice, and prototypes before necessary change in design.



This is a series of adjustments I implemented until finalizing the starred composition.





Unfortunately, I was unable to return and film the final walk through; however, this is the paper prototype. It demonstrates the general effect external light had in the design and the space.



For more about the process for the Hiding in Plain Sight project follow this link: