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Inflatable Architecture (and more!) On View in Anaheim August 19-27

by ArchNewsNow
August 17, 2006

We don’t typically cover home and garden shows, but if you find yourself in Southern California this weekend or next week, it’s worth checking out “Reflections,” a special exhibition of experimental housing concepts, landscaping, and fine art by California architects and artists at the 52nd Annual Southern California Home + Garden Show, August 19-27, in Anaheim.


The SCI-Arc (Southern California Institute of Architecture) Community Design Program will present two inflatable “habitats” designed by Los Angeles architect and SCI-Arc professor Alexis Rochas. With the use of computer technology and the evolution of new materials, he deconstructs people’s expectations of what a “home” should look like: What if we needed less? What if our home also encompassed our furniture? Does our house have to be hard, or angular? Why do we constantly conform to our environment? What if our homes instead conformed to us? Rochas offers two prototypes for the home of the future:


“Aeromads” considers the idea that one’s home is a malleable, movable environment that can be deflated and fit into a suitcase, then travel to a new location with its owner. (The prototype is a scaled-down version of the concept, and contains no kitchen, bathroom, or lighting system.) The model uses air pressure as a building material to exist as its own, independent structure, and is unplugged and detached from electrical outlets. Aeromads is supported in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation.


Rochas will also present his FAB Inflatable Pavilion. Styled to be made from recycled vinyl billboards, the mammoth 30- by 60-foot structure inflates in three minutes and immediately invites social interaction. Providing shade and shelter for a large area, the pavilion is small enough to fit into the trunk of a car when deflated.


Also on view will be two installations by architect/artist Gregg Fleishman. “DH1 Proposal for Emergency Shelter” is a prototype for temporary housing made from sustainable Baltic-birch that is assembled without fasteners. And the birch plywood panels of his M-5.5 Play System can be configured in any number of playful (and sculptural) combinations.


Other artists and designers participating in “Reflections”: Guy Stivers; Peter Simpson Cook; Pamela Mower-Conner; Karyl Newman; and Kenneth Aronson.

(click on pictures to enlarge)

(Alexis Rochas/SCI-Arc)
Aeromads, a malleable, movable environment by Alexis Rochas


(Alexis Rochas/SCI-Arc)
FAB Inflatable Pavilion by Alexis Rochas

(Alexis Rochas/SCI-Arc)
Aerial view of FAB

(Alexis Rochas/SCI-Arc)

(Gregg Fleishman)
DH1 Proposal for Emergency Shelter by Gregg Fleishman

(Gregg Fleishman)
M-5.5 Play System by Gregg Fleishman

© 2006