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These mind-bending doors belong in a futuristic Ikea funhouse

Despite all the incredible techonogical advances we’ve made, we’re still missing two things from the wild utopian future we envisioned in the sci-fi movies of decades past: flying cars, and really cool doors.

Think about any movie that takes place in a futuristic setting. When somebody enters a room in one of these flicks, they never walk in through a boring old hinged slab of wood. It’s always some kind of scissor-hinge porthole or interlocking hatch panel system. I can live without flying cars, but today’s lack of awesome doors is simply unacceptable. 

Austrian designer Klemens Torggler feels the same way. This dude is leading the revolution towards awesome doors. In the future, when you enter your house through an elaborate, multi-panel puzzle door, you’ll probably have him to thank for it. Torggler has been building unconventional doors since 1997, and he’s got a variety of different designs under his belt. Here’s a quick overview of each one.

First up is the Torggler Door – his first design and arguably the easiest to understand. If you can wrap your head around how this one works, you’ll be able to figure out the others. The system consists of two square panels connected to each other with two diagonally-positioned rods. With a quick tug, the panels will swing over one another to reveal the entrance. It’s really just easier to watch it in action.

Similar to the double rod system is the Epitrochid Door. It opens with the same fluid, overlapping motion as the Torggler Door, but rather than using a pair of rods, this one uses a single rod in conjunction with a wheel that moves along a teardrop-shaped track.  

Probably the most mesmerizing design is Torggler’s Evolution Door. Part origami, part kinetic sculpture; a gentle push causes the door to fold and swing open simultaneously, only to unfold and close up once it reaches the other side. Again, words don’t do it justice – you’ve got to see it in action to get the full effect.

And these are just the designs that Torggler has fully developed. On his website, you’ll find a number of different concepts he’s hoping to turn into functional prototypes, along with animated gifs to explain how they work. We were particularly struck by the 8-panel design – which is essentially an array of four smaller two-rod Torggler Doors that come together to create a full panel when closed. 

Unfortunately, these designs aren’t yet commercially available, but we’ve reached out to Torggler for comment on his future plans. You can learn more here.

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