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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Flux: The Ontological Status of Inflatable Forms

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The formulaic “reveal, make manifest, extend, relate” encapsulates the simultaneous material and immaterial ontological status of inflatable architectures investigated by Katarzyna Balug in “Outside of Architecture: Between Mediating and Navigating the Air.” What does it mean to reveal the environment and how does this disrupt and contribute to our experience of spaces? With Balug’s discussion of Graham Stevens’ architecture—alongside correlating moments in the history of science, technology, space travel and flight—it becomes clear that at the core of this examination is the embodied, sensory experience of entering and inhabiting these inflatable structures. The phenomenological is intrinsic: how our relationships with the tangible materials framing the bubbled construction is enmeshed and mediated by the invisible properties providing the form constituting the contained architecture.

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