FAT’s “Rubin Vase” Reveals Twin Portaits


The design team that calls itself FAT (Fashion Architecture Taste) isn’t the first one to take the old “face vase” optical illusion seriously, but it may be the first one that attempts to create actual portraits in the thin air surrounding pottery. “Heroes of the Invisible” forms the faces of designer Mies van der Rohe and radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi. Those two were chosen for being two figures who explored the idea of the invisible in very different ways. original “Rubin’s vase” (sometimes known as the Rubin face or the Figure-ground vase) is a famous set of cognitive optical illusions developed around 1915 by the Danish psychologist Edgar Rubin. The illusion generally presents the viewer with a mental choice of two interpretations, each of which is valid. Often, the viewer sees only one of them, and only realizes the second, valid, interpretation after some time or prompting. When they attempt to simultaneously see the second and first interpretations, they suddenly cannot see the first interpretation anymore, and no matter how they try, they simply cannot encompass both interpretations simultaneously– one occludes the other.

  • Chris


  • Anonymous

    lol… i was totally freaked when i realised what i wasd looking at. i love it when that happens!!! nice illusion btw!

  • ME!

    I have no clue what is so awesome about this illusion. But I THINK I can see both.

  • burger

    Erm, I don’t get it..

  • jkehrtzl

    LOL it looks like 2 people about to kiss

  • Anonymous

    yup… Awesome

  • zandor

    That’s awesome.

  • Anonymous

    How can you not get it?
    It’s a vase or its two faces looking at each other. Oldest illusion in the book.

    I dunno why they say “When they attempt to simultaneously see the second and first interpretations, they suddenly cannot see the first interpretation anymore, and no matter how they try”. That’s a load of crap, anyone can swap between the vase and faces at will.

  • GTB

    You can have one made of your own profile at http://www.turnyourhead.com/

  • Sylvee

    you dont get it its two people faces and there moving slightly at the sea!

  • Sylvee

    the illusion is to see two adventurres faces in the sea

  • missgeburt

    very, very, very nice!!

  • Anonymous

    i dont see where the two faces are!

  • Anonymous

    1st – 2 faces make the first vase
    2nd – since there’s 2 vases you can see 4 faces.

  • i was da lion king kid, but i changed my name.
    that r be cool!

  • purplepeopleeater

    super easy love it

  • julie

    yep,,but l can see just two guys! only guy,,hmm

  • someonre

    i dont get it. i cant see two faces

  • yanna

    omg it took sum time but all you hve to do is look in the middle !!!!

  • ZL123


  • rachel

    if you look at all the edges there is actually 4 faces

  • Angela

    In 1977 British Sculptor Judy Cousins invented/created “the Royal Silhouette” vase – commissioned by Kaiser Porcelain for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. It portrays the silhouette of Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip. A limited edition was produced, and one given as a gift to the Queen.

    This ‘Royal Silhouette’ vase has been portrayed in the National Geographic “Illusions” book and in countless other places. Therefore the FAT Design Team were certainly not the first to create the illusion of two profiles.


  • Carina


  • Carina

    u know… this op illusion is really old….

  • glittergirl

    i can see the faces…. but i can also see a tree
    in the middle!

  • Ron

    I see four faces. Two on the outside of each vase, as well as the two in the center.

  • IseeWashington

    Anyone notice that the face looks an awful lot like Washington’s profile on the US quarter.

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