- Bucky Puff
We see our inflatable structure as advancing two aspects of inflatable architecture; one is the reliance on a single membrane, single structural solution for inflatable construction which is spatially restrictive. The other is in creating a durable excitable structure able to be erected on any site and capable of growing, adapting and extending its detritus beyond structural boundaries and into the realm of play. We are creating a system of individual inflatable units that interlock through what we are calling ‘pneumatic friction’ and are able to transport and erect pavilions of different shapes and adaptable to different conditions rapidly while utilizing no other material or unit than the inflatable itself.
We can use the unique properties of pneumatic forms to create a component based structure that utilizes a strong, tight and hardware free connection between individual inflatable units. Flexibility, transportability and its ability to adapt to unique sites, allow the structure to be used anywhere, even out at sea. This connection may not look like much from a distance but is unique to component based building assemblies.
- Pneumatic friction:
- As air expands and pushes a form outward it closes up any concave shapes designed within the inflatable. Our idea relies on this outward exertion by putting the leg of one of our units into the orifice of another. As the pressure of both inflatable’s increases and their size fully expands they begin to form a tight bond between the two. Because of the area of overlap and the pressure creating between the two opposing shapes a great deal of friction is creating making a very rigid and solid connection between the two. This pneumatic friction unifies the interlocking inflatable’s into one assembly. If one element fails it can be replaced quickly and the structure reconfigured.
Because each inflatable is a building block it can reassembled in various ways and under different site conditions. The underlying geometry of one inflatable unit is based on a hexagon and the other a pentagon allowing for easy erection into a dome shape based off of the same geometries that determine a soccer ball, a truncated icosahedron. This can be completed as a whole sphere and floated/pushed around in field or lake, or for more grounded sites be any portion of a sphere to create an occupiable structure of variable coverage. As time goes on, new inflatable units can be made and allow the structure to grow. In addition extra inflatables not used to complete the sphere can be used as furniture, buoys, and play toys allowing for peripheral spontaneous activities.