January 24, 2012
For a while now, inflatable architecture has been the instant noodle solution for teaching and learning about space. But just when the immense, air-filled bubble was getting old hat, the University of Nottingham has developed a mobile planetarium that revisits the instant architecture fad to explore a different kind of space: outer space.
The Inflativerse uses an oversized balloon of black plastic to create a pitch-black environment in which to project images of stars and constellations. Instead of bringing attention to its skin-like enclosure, the Inflativerse uses air-pumped technology to explode space outward; as soon as visitors crawl through the entrance tube, they enter a sealed dome, where the absence of light facilitates the illusion of boundless space. Inside, a light show mimics the night sky and illustrates astronomical stories, intended to enlighten a generation accustomed to the starless haze of light pollution. Now, we are eagerly awaiting an obvious next step: an inflatable Cenotaph for Newton.
[Image and video via Prosthetic Knowledge]