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Future Bubble

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19 February 2014

in order to continue our inflating gold emergency blanket experiments we were invited by peats ridge festival to create an inflatable structure that would literally pop up in different locations over the 3 day event leading up to new year’s eve. armed with the trusty antfarm inflato-cookbook we began designing a 25m x 10m x 5m structure with a dj area to the rear and the aim of entertaining 300+ party goers.

paying homage to the imminent end of the world we decided on a myan / aztec theme of silver and gold triangles which blended to clear plastic. for the main structure we used gold/silver emergency blankets and 100um builders plastic. the floor was built using a thicker 200um plastic to withhold all those dancing feet.

a 3d model was built in rhino and divided into a number of sections at 1.9m intervals. each strip was then unrolled for cutting. the strips were laid out over the required number of gold or plastic sheets, depending on their length and a script was written in order to assign coordinates to each triangular node for easy marking and cutting. in total there were 19strips plus the floor area to be assembled.

over a period of 4 days with a team of 8 people we laid out, marked, cut and sticky taped together the strips to create the inflatable. in order to tie down the structure in position a series duct taped patches where located at nodes around the perimeter where each strip joined. eyelets were then punched through the tape and a rope threaded through each pair of eyelets. this was then staked to the ground using 300mm tent stakes.

the entire structure was help up using a 900mm diameter drum fan which pumped the air through from behind the dj area. the entrance was designed using the inflated lips technique but in the end it was not necessary as for the structure held its pressure and could be left open at the entrance.

the structure, fan, pegs and tools all fitted in the back of a station wagon and was driven up to glenworth valley, the location of the festival site. the structure took half an hour to layout and peg and 10 minutes to inflate.

a sound system was hired and was rocked out by the radio azteca djs on the night of the 30th and 31st. the project was a huge success. it was the after party to the festival and kept on going until the production team, with heavy hearts, eventually had to shut it down in the early hours of the morning. however, the future bubblelives on and and is available to hire for anyone who is keen to throw an event in a unique space.