Is this a table or an optical illusion?


September 21, 2012

From this angle it looks as though the Illusion Table is about to collapse under its own weight

From this angle it looks as though the Illusion Table is about to collapse under its own weight

Image Gallery (5 images)

Furniture exists primarily to serve a purpose, and as long as the basic form is maintained each piece functions perfectly well. For a table this basic form means a flat surface supported by legs. In that regard Illusion Table from Brazilian designer Roberta Rampazzo fits the bill 100 percent, but one slight deviation from the accepted design means this is a table that will likely be stared at more than used in any practical sense.

Rampazzo's Illusion Table is an ordinary table just like any other, except for the fact that two of its most important components don't follow convention. While two of the legs on opposite corners stand proudly vertical, the opposing two stand diagonally, each making contact with the floor where its opposite number would normally be expected to do so.

This strange layout turns the table into an optical illusion, with the angle it's viewed from changing the way your eye perceives it. As you can see in the image gallery, slight changes of perspective subtly alter which sections of the legs are visible, and that is enough to affect the message your eye transmits to your brain.

Illusion Table is made from matte black iron, with a mirrored bronze top. But it's unlikely people will actually notice the materials or finish while they're transfixed studying its form from different perspectives. Is this a table or an optical illusion? It's actually both.

Source: Roberta Rampazzo via Design Milk

About the Author
Dave Parrack Dave is a technology journalist with a ravenous appetite for gadgets, gizmos, and gubbins. He's based in the U.K., and from his center of operations writes about all facets of modern and future technology. He has learned more in his five years writing for the Web than he did in 11 years at school, and with none of the boring subjects thrown in to the mix. All articles by Dave Parrack

Interesting, perhaps, as a trompe l'oeil, but is there any practical benefit to this design. Or is it just an artistic exercise?

One might imagine such a design could perhaps stand with improved stability on an uneven surface (e.g. on a picnic) but only if the diagonally sloping legs can achieve a secure 'footing'.


From an artistic or aesthetic viewpoint, I think this design is absolutely great. Very creative.

Jarris Fuller

As functional as any standard configuration while being pleasantly entertaining in appearance. Nice job.

Neil Larkins

The photos don't show whether diagonal legs are fastened to one another at their crossing point. Even a spot of epoxy could add significant stability and usability.

NK Fro
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