Bubbletecture: New Book Shows Off the Innovation of Inflatables

Maybe it’s the kids in us, but there’s something about inflatable architecture that’s just plain fascinating. It’s hard to deny the fun factor in blowing something up bigger and bigger and bigger until it’s the size of a building. Temporary and amorphous, it flouts many of the qualities we expect from architecture yet it can create comfortable and beautiful temperature-controlled spaces within minutes in virtually any location. If you love blow-up buildings too, you’ll want to check out a new book offering “a fun guide to everything inflatable.”

Debuting on March 15th and published by Phaidon, “Bubbletecture” is the work of architect Sharon Francis, and features more than 200 examples of inflatable architecture and design dating back to the 1960s.

“Although inflatable objects have been around for more than 200 years, architects, artists, and designers keep rediscovering this deceptively simple – often playful, and occasionally bizarre – technology. Bubbletecture brings together inflatables in every conceivable size, shape, and hue across the realms of architecture, design, art, and fashion. From inflatable dresses and hats to buildings employing cutting-edge technologies, from ingenious chairs, lights, bowls, and even egg cups to children’s toys and provocative art installations, Bubbletecture demonstrates that inflatable design is simply irresistible.”

For those who aren’t familiar, inflatable architecture goes far beyond the bouncy castles you might be picturing, and they’re often less fragile than they sound. Examples include “bubble tent” hotels, minimalist pavilions, sculptural creations for festivals and other events, floating playgrounds and many more inhabitable, interactive works of portable architecture.