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The History of the Penrose Stair and its Influence on Design

Stairs in architecture are oftentimes a design focal point- the heavyhandedness in creating something that moves us from one level to the next, up and down repeatedly, something so simple and familiar with a twist is what makes the experience of traversing a stair so unique. Our obsession with stairs and the level of illusion that they create in architecture perhaps stems from the way that they’re able to twist the optics and perceptions of space. We understand that they transport us in one direction or another, but can stairs ever be circular? Is it possible to go up and down for eternity?