Translating 2D geometric illusions for 3D contexts

Castell, Kathleen and Wodehouse, Andrew (2021) Translating 2D geometric illusions for 3D contexts. International Journal of Art, Culture and Design Technologies, 10 (1). pp. 18-35. ISSN 2155-4196 (

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This paper describes the creation and evaluation of four novel, interactive objects that have been used to evaluate the effectiveness of 2D optical illusions within 3D objects. Illusions are recognised as a key means to understand how one processes visual input and perceives the world around them. A huge number of 2D illusions have been generated from the 18th century onwards, and a significant body of work exists that explores their characteristics, classifications, and operations. This paper identifies and selects four established 2D geometric illusions and explores their viability as 3D objects. A controlled experiment was conducted to ascertain whether they retained their perceptive illusory strength. A sample population of 30 participants was used and their interaction with purpose-built models was measured. Means are discussed whereby the illusions can be utilised in product design to either emphasise or counteract optical effects in geometric form.