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Material or immaterial? Optical illusions protagonists of a museum

Born in Zagreb in 2015 from an idea by the Croatian marketing expert Roko Živković and already present in over 30 cities around the world, the format of the Museum of Illusions offers an experience that aims to be both visual, sensorial and educational, and has its first Italian home opened in Milan in via Settembrini 11.

Stanza Ruotata museo illusioniImage curtesy of Museo delle Illusioni Milano

Engaging for adults as well as children, it offers a curious collection of over 70 attractions designed to entertain visitors by making them amaze and amuse them by engaging with games based on science, physics, biology, psychology and mathematics. The itinerary aims to demonstrate in a playful way how our most widespread certainties about the perceived world are determined by what are actually illusions and altered perspectives, which visitors of all ages have the opportunity to verify thanks to a varied selection of visual illusions, games, puzzles and immersive settings with intriguing names: Vortex Tunnel, Room of the Upside Down, Room of the Infinite.

infinity roomImage curtesy of Museo delle Illusioni Milano

Among these is the Ames room, a room with a purposefully distorted configuration to create an optical illusion of perspective modification invented in 1946 by the American ophthalmologist and psychologist Adelbert Ames Jr .: the trapezoidal shape of the floor, the ceiling and the back wall of the small room causes those who observe it with only one eye through a slot on the front wall to see it and perceive it as if it were a parallelepiped-shaped room.

Stanza Ames museo illusioniImage curtesy of Museo delle Illusioni Milano

The clone table replicates the image of the person sitting on it five times, producing the illusion of a round table; Beuchet's Chair, designed by the French psychologist Jean Beuchet in 1963, makes subjects and figures appear half their real size; a Playroom full of games and puzzles tests the skill and patience of visitors.

With its immaterial attractions, the Museum of Illusions opens the way to new experiences of the material world.


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