R2 is an award-winning studio specialised in graphic identity, editorial and environmental design, with a strong focus on theatre, contemporary art and architecture. Created by Lizá Defossez Ramalho (Troyes, France) and Artur Rebelo (Porto, Portugal), the Porto-based studio has secured international recognition for its exhibition-based pieces and installation work, and produces visual identities, poster design, way-finding systems, web design and motion projects for cultural institutions, museums and other commercial clients.
Founded in 1995, the studio uses its profound knowledge across different media, formats and applications. Be it a museum signage system or the façade of a 19th century church, the studio works according to a singular yet multi-dimensional vision. Beyond these forms, their work also extends to teaching, research, publishing, and public interventions.
R2’s institutional collaborators include the Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Serralves Museum, Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, Berardo Museum and Gulbenkian Foundation. It has also worked with Phaidon and other design-focused editorial projects. R2 has received awards from the Brno Biennale, Chaumont Festival, International Society of Typographic Designers (UK), the Society for Environmental Graphic Design (US) and the International Poster Triennial (Tayoma, Japan. It won European Design Agency of the Year in 2014 (European Design Awards).
The first Portuguese designers to join the Alliance Graphique International in 2007, R2 organised the AGI Open and AGI Congress in Porto, 2010. Some of the studio’s pieces are held in international collections such as the Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, Heritage Museum, Hong Kong and Museum für Gestaltung, Zürich.
Approach: Experimentation, research, and constant dialogue are crucial to R2’s design approach, with solutions found through a rigorous critical thinking and a sense of plurality. Its process is based on a content and concept-driven methodology unrestrained by space, material, means or dimension. Ramalho and Rebelo take advantage of the characteristics of each medium, with in-depth knowledge and self-initiation key to their methodology – be it on paper, screen or even concrete. Form is bound to concept without the neglect of either.
Though it is informed deeply by the fields of contemporary art and architecture, the studio’s thinking reveals a consciousness of design history and the vernacular. Typography is prized for its structural nature, transversal forms are celebrated with a rigorous concern for balance, simplicity and restraint. Each project is engaged with for its uniqueness.
R2 are members of Alliance Graphique Internationale, and their work has won numerous international distinctions and awards.