Marleau-Pontyproposed ‘vision is the brain’s way of touching’. It is the most compelling sensepossessed by architects, and is essential to turn abstract concepts intoreality.An illusion is ‘something that deceives or misleadsintellectually; an instance of a wrong or misinterpreted perception of asensory experience. Man has been practicing illusions in architecture sinceantiquity.

Sense of space can be modulated by altering ‘proportions and appearance’of building elements. For years architects and designers have achieved this bycreating illusions of symmetry, scale, distance, ‘weightlessness’, and even’dematerialisation’ of the visual planes. Vitruvius mentionsAgatharcus of Samos, in Ancient Greece, to be the first to realise thatparallel lines converge to a single ‘vanishing point’. The early history ofperspective begins ‘after the end of the Greco- Roman’ period. The techniquewas developed during the Italian Renaissance, a time of ‘rebirth’ and explosionof artistic growth and discovery.

Most famously, theancient Greeks used it in the construction of the Parthenon. The floor of thebuilding is on a slight slope so the centre is higher-up than the edges, thecolumns bulge and the roof is at a slant.In the modernworld, the use of illusionism in architecture can play a significant role tocontrol the appearance of spaces and structures. By the use of the ‘diminishingcourse’, facades can be created to seem much larger from the ground than inreality, by decreasing the relative size of the replicated sections towards thetop, as well as in interior surfaces by diminishing and increasing the size oftiles, or even through the use of multi-patterned carpets. Illusions could alsobe used in rooms where satisfactory space could not be attained, thus givingthe impression of expansion or connection to the exterior, especially inunderground areas. By reintroducingthese techniques of the past as standard practice in suitable situations, theycan become very advantageous to clients and members of the public alike, tocreate pleasant environments, designed with mathematical precision, and thusestablish architecture’s firm link between art and science.