Thierry Rosenhecht likes to call his bed "performing architecture." But when one enters his apartment, it's hard to imagine just where the Howard University arch sleeps. The living room has two unusual and decorative bookcases and an oriental carpet. The kitchen is spacious enough to include a table -- extra chairs are hung from one wall above eye level. The third room is a comfortable study; one assumes that the bedroom must be located through another door.

But it isn't. In fact, the bedroom isn't anywhere -- until you look up. In the middle of Rosenhecht's living room ceiling is a mural of the sky; it covers the center of the room and spans the distance between the two bookcases. With the flip of a switch, Rosenhecht activates an electrical hoist, 14 small pulleys and two large ones. Then the ceiling mural begins to descend to become the bottom of the bed; once it is lowered it rests on four small pillars (which double by day as end tables in the living room). Cables, hoist and pulleys are all invisible, tucked away in the framing of the bed and in the bookcases.

With the help of a neighbor, cabinetmaker Geoff Seeley, and trompe l'oeil artist Dana Westring, Rosenhecht has created a prototype design for a bed for small spaces. His artful disguise adds a new level to his urban apartment, a place where every night the sky is falling.