Tomás Saraceno’s Plastic Aerial Playground
Argentinian installation artist and former architect Tomás Saraceno has injected a serious sense of fun into the HangarBicocca exhibition space in Milan, Italy with a large-scale PVC playground installation, designed to make adults feel like children.
Titled On Space Time Foam, the 1,312 sq ft installation is essentially a vast transparent trampoline suspended 65 ft above the ground. Thanks to the structure being composed of a super-durable form of stretched, reinforced plastic, the installation can accommodate 10 visitors (adults only), who are able to bounce and slide across its surface, as if defying the laws of gravity.
The plastic itself is a feat of scientific ingenuity. It was designed by a team of engineers and Swedish aeronautics company Lindstrand Industries, which specialises in the research and manufacture of products such as hot-air balloons and space vehicles. The plastic reacts to visitors’ movements as their weight shifts across the space and stretches the material. Movement within the three levels will also cause changes in air pressure and temperature, as a reaction to visitors passing through the space.
Saraceno has described the installation as something of a dream, due to the way in which it replicates the sensation of lightness and movement experienced in space, beyond the physical limitations of Earth. “As an artist I like to live and work between and beyond planet Earth,” he stated at the launch.
The installation will be open to the public until February 30 2013. For further examples of Saraceno’s work, see our report Space-Frame Architecture: Structures for the 21st Century.