Filipino architect Rafael Nelson Aboganda created an impossible stairway called Escherian Stairwell in a university in the US. Here, you can walk upstairs but you will eventually return to where you came from. And obviously, those students who tried this creepy stairway optical illusion got freak out.
According to animation graduate student Michael Lacanilao, Aboganda designed this never-ending loop stairwell at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in New York back in 1968. However, no one almost knew about it. So, in 2013, Lacanilao created a video to show it to the public for the first time.
On the first part of the video, RIT’s show “Can You Imagine?” hosts Kevin and Stephanie talked about the show which was then on its 6th year. Later, a video of Kevin was shown as he asks some university students if they know about the Escherian Stairwell, which was inspired by the mythical Penrose stairs.
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Also known as the Penrose steps, the design of this impossible staircase was created by Lionel Penrose and his son Roger Penrose back in the late 1950s. The theme was fatherly developed by M. C. Escher, a Dutch graphic artist known for his mathematically inspired but impossible structures.
This continuous loop Penrose stairs was also re-created and appeared in the 2010 science fiction movie “Inception” starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan, the movie won four Academy Awards, and the Penrose stairway scene was highly talked about.
As expected, none of the RIT students interviewed by Kevin knew about it. Shortly, the host can be seen near the Escherian Stairwell, along with a female student named Rosie. She swears to the host that she has never been in that area before, and this is the first she’ll be using the impossible stairway.
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As Rosie climbs the stairs, a video camera follows her continuously until she reached the “next floor.” But to her surprise, she saw Kevin again. The girl was shocked and climbed down quickly only to see him again. The poor student couldn’t help but to sit on the stairs that almost drive her crazy.
To make sure that the steps are flat and not tilted in any way, the host suggested bringing a glass of water while ascending or descending the mysterious stairs. On the latter part of the video, some students and other visitors tried the Escherian Stairwell, and all of them were stunned.
As of posting, Rafael Nelson Aboganda has not yet spoken publicly about his genius work. The Filipino architect, who is from Nagcarlan, Laguna and was born on October 24, 1944, is also known for being an inventor. In 1973, he launched TheInventSchool, a training program for young Filipino inventors.
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