Is the Ceiling Spinning?: The Art of Decorative Illusions
It is a hot day. The sun is bright, and you are driving down a long street. Suddenly, it looks like there is a large puddle or body of water at the end of the street. However, as you get closer to it, it either disappears entirely or moves further away from you. All of a sudden, you realize that you have seen an optical illusion. The reflection of the bright rays from the sun has played a trick on your mind, making you think that you have seen water that really is not there.
Optical illusions come in many shapes and sizes. Besides those that appear in the natural world, many famous artists have crafted paintings, murals, and sculptures that appear to be one thing but then appear to be something else when looked at more carefully or from a different angle. One of the most famous artists to employ optical illusions in his work was Pablo Picasso, whose painting Guernica is but one of many examples of his artful crafting of paintings that are more than meets the eye at first glance.
It should be no surprise that this artistic use of painting, sculpture, and so forth to create optical illusions has been incorporated in many artistic disciplines. Take interior design and architecture, for example. Many designers incorporate colors and textures into the buildings they decorate or design to create illusions that fool the brain. With the right combination of hues and materials, these interior designers and architects can create images that look like they are moving or forms that look misshapen even though they are architecturally sound and level.
Using optical illusions in such disciplines is known as decorative illusion, and it is an art in which many people find much delight. Some of the most popular examples of decorative illusion involve decorative ceiling tiles that are arranged to create a sense of movement on the ceiling or to form images that are perceived differently depending on where the observer is standing or sitting. Generally speaking, the residential ceiling tiles that are used for this purpose are made from tin, bronze, or another kind of metal. The varying hues, light refraction, and shapes of these tiles make it simple for a designer to create an illusion. Decorative tiles can also be used on walls, fireplaces, and other places besides the ceiling to create illusions.
It should be noted that optical illusions, whether they are decorative illusions or not, result from the brain's false perception of what it is observing. Information that is taken in through the eyes must be interpreted by the brain. Perception refers to the interpretation of sensory information, which in this case pertains to our sense of sight. If shapes, colors, and other elements of what we see are just a little bit off, it is easy for our brains to be tricked and for us to perceive things that really are not there. That is exactly what happens in the aforementioned example of seeing a body of water on a hot day. The angle of the light, the brightness of the sun, and the position of the observer, among other things, all contribute to the brain's misreading of sense perception to make a person think that a body of water is present.
Skilled interior designers can create any number of optical illusions for decorative purposes. In fact, even those who have not studied interior design in much depth often know certain tricks that can help create illusions to fool the mind. For instance, positioning a large mirror on the wall of a small room will make the room seem much bigger than it actually is. High ceilings will also have the same effect. Thus, many people who live in small spaces employ these techniques so that the ambience of the room seems less closed-in. As noted previously, it is also possible to use residential ceiling tiles to create an optical illusion on the ceiling. Expert designers are quite adept at this, but it is also possible for those who do not have much training to take decorative ceiling tiles and create some exciting effects.
Decorating is all about perception, and setting up rooms and buildings to fool the senses can be a fun way to make a living or working space more interesting. There are many things that can be done with decorative ceiling tiles, so there is likely a pattern that can be developed for your particular taste. Arrange those residential ceiling tiles and other objects properly, and you will create a space that everyone will be talking about.
For more information on optical illusions, sense perception, and how one can use tiles and other items in making decorative illusions, please consult these links:
- Visual Perception and Optical Illusions: This page from Princeton University has several fun tests of visual perception and optical illusions.
- Decorative Tile on Building Facade: This is a good page with an example of how tiles can be used for decorative purposes.
- Optical Illusion Links and Ideas for Decorative Ceiling Tiles: Find links to many optical illusions, including some that may be incorporated into ceiling tiles.
- Ideas for Decorative Ceiling Tiles: Consult the references on this page for some ideas on how to use ceiling tiles to decorate a room.
- Fascinating Illusions and Other Effects: Visit this page to find many links to optical illusions and visual effects.
- Home Decoration and Decorative Ceiling Tiles: This classic work on home décor includes ideas for decorative ceiling tiles.
- Don Brown Links: Find a number of different computer links, artistic sites, and more when you visit this page.
- Eyes and Ears: This page is a good overview of the anatomy of the ear and the eye, thereby helping to explain how we perceive things when we look at several different things, including ceiling tiles.
- All About Perception, or How We See Decorative Ceiling Tiles: This is a comprehensive guide to sensory perception, including what we see with our eyes.
- Illusion Links to Help With Residential Ceiling Tiles: The optical illusion links on this site may give you some ideas of what you can do with ceiling tiles and crafting illusions.
- Kids' Games and Illusions: Children will especially enjoy this fun page of games and illusions.
- Vision Science and Illusions: Ideas for Decorative Ceiling Tiles: Here is a good resource on the science of human vision and illusions that may help you use ceiling tiles to create optical illusions.
- Diabolo Tricks: Many people use diabolos to create optical illusions and entertain others. This page includes links to resources that can help you learn new diabolo tricks.
- Fun Vision Games: Master these vision games and you will likely have a better idea of how to use decorative ceiling tiles to achieve the illusion you want.
- Psychology Websites: Explaining the Perception of Decorating with Residential Ceiling Tiles: These psychology websites will help you understand how the brain works in processing illusions and other phenomena.
- Mythic Ceiling Murals: Find a good article on ceiling murals in a public setting on this page.
- Tin Related Links: Many ceiling tiles that are used to create optical illusions are made of tin. This page has information on this metal and tiles.
- Blashfield's Ceiling Murals: Blashfield's Ceiling Murals are beautiful murals crafted according to fine design and art principles.
- Global Specialty Products and Residential Ceiling Tiles: Here, you will find retailers who specialize in ceiling tiles and panels for decorative use.
- Murals in the Clinics: This page shows some innovative ceiling decorating that has been done with murals.
- Ceiling Renovation Ideas with Decorative Ceiling Tiles: This page has several ideas regarding what can be done with tiles for ceiling décor.
- House Restoration Resources, Including Residential Ceiling Tiles: This page of resources includes links to help you find ceiling tiles for your home.
- Old House Restoration Suppliers: Find everything you need to restore an older home, including decorative tiles, on this page of links.
- Bali Tiles and Residential Ceiling Tiles: You may find some ideas for decorating a residential ceiling from this page about Bali tiles.
- Ceiling Iron Sculpture: Ceiling décor is not limited to tiles, as this article makes clear.
- East Building Art Tour with Decorative Ceiling Tiles: The National Gallery of Art presents this tour that shows what can be done with decorative tiles and much more.
- The Raised Ceiling in the Art Room: Here, visitors can learn from an interview with an artist who works on ceilings.
- Museum Without Ceiling: In this piece of art, the ceiling has been cut away to help viewers see the building's insides.
- Fireplace and Fireplace Tiles: Learn what can be done with tiles and decorating a fireplace on this useful page.
- Chanchhaya Pavilion, Ceiling Murals, and Decorative Ceiling Tiles: An example of what can be done with ceiling tiles on a large scale can be found here.
- Dancing on the Ceiling: Art and Zero Gravity: This is the homepage for an exhibit that shows ceiling art done with an eye to the influence of gravity.
- Yale Center for British Art: This page has information on a British art exhibit that incorporates different tiles.
- Home Decorating Certificate With Residential Ceiling Tiles and More: Madison College features this certificate program on home decorating that incorporates ceiling tiles and other media.
- Online Books Page: Notes on Decorative Ceiling Tiles: Visit this page to learn about decorative tiles as they are used around the world.
- Ceramic Tiles and Architectural Terra Cotta: The Smithsonian Encyclopedia hosts this page that is all about terra cotta tiles and much more.