To celebrate the opening of Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color (May 11, 2018-January 13, 2019), Object of the Day this month will feature colorful objects from the exhibition.

Bloom is a 3-D or anaglyph wallpaper designed by LuzElena Wood as part of the DEEP 3D Wallpaper Project created by Architect Sarah Strauss in partnership with Pratt Institute, digitally printed by twenty2 wallpaper. Its design consists of a dense collection of Aeonium cacti, inspired by photographs of the actual cacti blooms.

Anaglyph is the name given to the stereoscopic or 3D effect, and was first developed in the 1850s. It is achieved by means of encoding what each eye sees using filters of different and usually chromatically opposite colors, typically red and blue. The design is also printed in red and blue; when viewed through anaglyph glasses, only one of the two images is seen by each eye. A red filter allows the viewer to see the blue image, while a blue/green filter reveals the red image. The brain then combines these images into the perception of a three-dimensional stereoscopic composition or scene. The two differently filtered images ensure different light information hits each eye, tricking the eye and causing the foreground to jump out.

This design is one of the lush 3D wallpapers in the Deep collection, produced in collaboration between Connecticut wallpaper company twenty2 and Pratt Institute. The Deep collection is the first commercially produced 3D or anaglyph wallpaper. In vivid layers that catch the eye over multiple planes, these papers unravel the border between surface and dimension. The beauty of this print can be appreciated with or without glasses, though it is much more fun to view with the color-coded anaglyph glasses.

This object is currently on view in Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color.


Kara Nichols is a graduate student in the master’s program in the History of Design & Curatorial Studies offered jointly by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and Parsons School of Design. She served as the Curatorial Capstone Fellow for the exhibition, Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color.

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