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This exhibition will survey the central role played by inflatable structures in art, science, transportation, and architectural practice since the emergence of hot air balloons in the late 18th century. Whether they were used for aesthetic art installations or the creation of largescale public structures like stadiums, inflatables have been subjects of extensive technological research and artistic inspiration. In the 1960s, inflatables played a central role in the contemporary art scene, offering a fluid, dynamic spontaneity that contrasted with more structured, overly prevalent Modernist forms.
Curated by Mary E. Hale AIA and Katarzyna Balug, and featuring photographs, videos, and 3D interactive models, The New Inflatable Moment will outline the parallel evolution of the medium with key moments of sociopolitical change, including the pioneering visions of Buckminster Fuller, Frei Otto, and Walter Bird; the utopian art projects of the 1960s and 70s; and NASA’s use of inflatable technology today. The New Inflatable Moment will explore a renewed interest in inflatables for architectural and urbanistic experimentation.