Klemens Torggler sounds like a name somebody made up. But he’s actually an Austrian artist and engineer who is putting a lot of time and effort into reinventing the door. And his work is so amazing that you’ll wish you had these doors.
Doors Of Perception
At root, Klemens is essentially a very clever engineer. Here’s one of his Torggler Doors in action; look closely at how it works:
You might notice that it doesn’t take much to open a Torggler door; a simple push in the right place, and the door’s own weight takes care of the rest. Even more impressively, it works in both directions and can be used on either side.
Physics And Doors
Essentially, Torggler is smartly using mass and momentum. His doors are balanced in such a way that at rest, they’re solid. But, when you start moving them, the sheer mass of the object takes over, and it uses gravity and mechanics to pull the door to the opposite direction. It’s like watching massive steel origami unfold. Here’s another video, built around the concept of triangles:
Notice that all it really takes for the door to fold and unfold is a simple push: Momentum, gravity, and good engineering take care of the rest.
Doors To The Future?
Sadly, it’s going to be a while before Torggler doors come standard in the home of the future. Torggler can spend months on one door, perfectly balancing each component, and the materials themselves, not to mention properly maintaining the devices, are expensive. But take hope in the fact that Torggler doors A) exist, and B) might someday be engineered to be mass-produced. And if nothing else, it’s a clever intersection between the worlds of art, science, and practical engineering that settle the argument of just what art is for.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.