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The New Inflatable Moment

Exhibition Opening:
May 3, 2017
Exhibition Closing:
September 30, 2017

The New Inflatable Moment

The New Inflatable Moment at BSA Space explores the resurgence of inflatable installations in architecture 

This exhibition explores inflatable structures used in architecture, art, and engineering since the emergence of the hot air balloon. While celebrating their practical applications, the exhibition focuses on the role some of these revolutionary works of imagination have had in envisioning utopia.

Inspired by the 1998 exhibition and book, The Inflatable Moment: Pnuematics and Protest in '68 by Marc Dessauce and The Architectural League of New York, BSA Space examines key historical moments during which inflatables kindle idyllic or visionary aspirations. Through a series of installations, photographs, videos, and models, the The New Inflatable Moment contextualizes the renewed interest in inflatable structures for architectural and artistic experimentation as expressed among established, emerging, and student architects and artists. Featuring Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Grimshaw, Anish Kapoor/Arata Isozaki, Otto Piene, Graham Stevens, Chico MacMurtrie, and raumlaborberlin, among others. It also showcases the earlier, pioneering visions of Buckminster Fuller and Frei Otto; the utopian collectives of the late 1960s such as Haus-Rucker-Co, Utopie, and Ant Farm; and the contemporary use of inflatable technology for space exploration.

Curated by Mary E. Hale AIA and Katarzyna Balug, The New Inflatable Moment anchors the present moment with an interactive timeline by Certain Measures, informing the parallel evolution of the medium with key moments of sociopolitical change. “With this exhibition, we revisit the moment of the 1960s explored by Dessauce to suggest that utopian thought is re-emerging today in architecture and art as evidenced in projects involving inflatables.”­, say Hale and Balug.

Laura Wernick FAIA, chair of the BSA Foundation adds: “The exhibition reveals some of the most visionary architectural minds working with new methods of display and communication. Its premiere at BSA space will empower designers to similarly think and work in new ways to create a better future and motivate the general public to believe in it.”

The opening reception for The New Inflatable Moment took place on Wednesday, May 17 at 6:00pm. This special event was an opportunity to explore the exhibition while enjoying complimentary drinks and hors d'oeuvres.

Chronorhythms: A Visual History of Inflatables from Certain Measures on Vimeo.


The Boston Society of Architects/AIA (BSA) reaches its sesquicentennial anniversary in 2017. That’s 150 years of design professionals working together to build often inventive and creative buildings for this city and for the people who live in it. It’s really quite amazing—150 years of progress, innovation, standard-setting, collaboration, and community building.

Other initiatives marking the 150th anniversary may include: an exhibition timeline at BSA Space focusing on the BSA's achievements over the last 150 years, weekly  essays from a leader or ally of the organization, and plaques to be mounted on design award winning buildings.

Image: Desert Cloud 1972. Credit: Graham Stevens.