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The pure forms and acrobatic beauty of Japanese staircases make it easy to imagine that these structures have inspired many artistic-minded people to become designers. Whether that's true or not, it's undeniable that such creations exemplify some of the best elements in the design field.

The ingenuity and risk involved with a lot of these staircases far eclipses a lot of what we have going for us in the States. They stretch over impossible distances at treacherous angles, seemingly able to defy physics just with their beauty. Figure out why you should be paying attention to these constructions with 12 Japanese Staircases (And Why They’re Better Than The Rest).

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