Optical illusions created by
spinning marble disks

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Dezeen promotion: designer Raffaello Galiotto has created patterned marble disks that blur into new shapes when spun fast enough for Italian brand Lithos Design (+ slideshow).

Optical illusions created by spinning marble disks by Raffaello Galiotto for Lithos Design

The Opus Motus installation features a set of wheels, each formed from a mosaic of coloured marbles.

Optical illusions created by spinning marble disks by Raffaello Galiotto for Lithos Design

These geometric layout of the disks can be seen when the pieces are still, but once the 120-centimetre wide wheels are rotated at a certain speed the colours blur together to create circular patterns.

Optical illusions created by spinning marble disks by Raffaello Galiotto for Lithos Design

"This particular illusion is the combined result of three factors: the rotation speed, the design that determines the arrangement of the elements at a specific interval, and the light source," said Galiotto.

Optical illusions created by spinning marble disks by Raffaello Galiotto for Lithos Design

All six types of marble used come from different countries and include Verde Giada from China, Travertino Rosso and Travertino Giallo from Iran, Bianco Thassos from Greece, Nero Marquinia from Spain and Azul Macaubas from Brazil.

Optical illusions created by spinning marble disks by Raffaello Galiotto for Lithos Design

Colours and shapes of the segments were chosen after research into which would create the best illusions.

Optical illusions created by spinning marble disks by Raffaello Galiotto for Lithos Design

The disks are raised off the ground on stands and are spun by hand using counter-weighted levers on one side. For further details about the project visit the Lithos Design website.

Optical illusions created by spinning marble disks by Raffaello Galiotto for Lithos Design

Read on for more information from Lithos Design:


The Moving Colours of Stone

Playful, passionate, hypnotic, colourful.

Opus Motus is the new scenic stone design installation by Raffaello Galiotto in conjunction with Lithos Design, the result of a study on the natural colours of stone combined with movement.

Optical illusions created by spinning marble disks by Raffaello Galiotto for Lithos Design

Six gaudy mechanical vertical spinning tops (120 centimetres in diameter, two centimetres thick and 200 centimetres high) featuring an inlaid marble circle: when activated by a lever, it begins to spin progressively faster, the colours of nature merge together, amalgamating and forming other unprecedented shades. The figures will open up in a majestic and thrilling crescendo: an explosion of colours and shapes reveal to every onlooker unique and surprising optical effects.

Optical illusions created by spinning marble disks by Raffaello Galiotto for Lithos Design

Around the world in six colours

The starting point of the study behind the conception of Opus Motus are six types of marble among the most prestigious and charming, sourced from the four corners of the globe, from East to West: Verde Giada from China, Travertino Rosso and Travertino Giallo from Iran, Bianco Thassos from Greece, Nero Marquinia from Spain, Azul Macaubas from Brazil.

Optical illusions created by spinning marble disks by Raffaello Galiotto for Lithos Design

All the colours and geometric structures used for Opus Motus were purpose-designed based on the RGB additive model according to specific optical and chromatic effects. Thus the wealth of colours, which is already quite evident, proves to be even more surprising when movement transforms them.

Optical illusions created by spinning marble disks by Raffaello Galiotto for Lithos Design

Stone and I

As in other projects, with Opus Motus Lithos Design and Raffello Galiotto investigate stone as a natural element and thus intimately close to man: for this reason, the interaction with the public and their active participation is especially important. The Opus Motus circles can be activated manually with a simple lever-mechanism. The various colours of the marble tesserae come apart through the rotating movement revealing new and impressive shapes and colours to the observer.

Click here to watch the video of Opus Motus.

Optical illusions created by spinning marble disks by Raffaello Galiotto for Lithos Design

My Playful Marble Inlays by Raffaello Galiotto

This research was inspired by the opus sectile, the old art of creating marble inlay designs: the ancient marble cladding characterised by mid- and large-size slabs sometimes salvaged from existing works, to be shaped and recomposed in complex geometries. Today my intent is to set into motion and play with the effects that the dynamics and our perception of colours have to offer. The result is the chromatic sum of the various lithotypes, each characterised and selected for its particular colouring as assessed by the RGB (Red Green Blue) composition indicated by the trichromatic colorimetric system.

The dynamics of these inlaid and rotating marble disks, with their consequential "perceptive overlapping", mixes the colours by summing them in a sort of "stone metamorphosis" so as to produce new stones with surprising colours.

Optical illusions created by spinning marble disks by Raffaello Galiotto for Lithos Design

Even the design of the composition, subject to the kinetic effect of the rotation, is deconstructed and then reconstructed in a new arrangement.

In addition, a third effect – an optical illusion – can be perceived as the various elements of the marble design apparently move in a disjointed rotatory motion. This particular illusion is the combined result of three factors: the rotation speed, the design that determines the arrangement of the elements at a specific interval, and the light source. The artificial light source, which is also stroboscopic, together with the perceptive capacity of our eye, triggers a consequential clockwise or counter-clockwise effect.”
With Opus Motus, after 3D experimentation, Lithos Design explores a new form of expression to broach a new and unexplored territory in the world of stone colours. Founded on an in-depth knowledge of stone materials, of their sources, of the ability to work them through dedicated and sophisticated industrial systems and significant investments in Research and Development.

www.lithosdesign.com