Ant Farm

Inflatocookbook, 1975

Over the course of the 1960s-70s, numerous inflatable architecture projects saw the light of day. The properties of pneumatic structures (lightness, transparency, elasticity, flexibility, etc.) offered an answer to western societies’ dream, i.e. their quest for a nomadic lifestyle and greater freedom. Like Arthur Quarmby and Archigram in England, Haus-Rucker-Co and Coop Himmelb(l)au in Austria and Aérolande in France, Ant Farm seized upon inflatable technology as an experimental tool, an alternative and mobile system, imprinting in space the rhythm of the human body. Shunning the Brutalism then flourishing in American architecture, Ant Farm explored different types of inflatable shelter, studying its effects on physical and social behaviors. Influenced by the workshops of Lawrence and Anna Halprin (“Experiments in Environment”), in which Chip Lord and Curtis Schreier participated in 1968, the group experimented with the senses and perception, using vast fluid, dematerialized envelopes. Inflatables became one the symbols of their communication strategy, receiving some of the most extensive media coverage. They were the hallmark of the group’s activity: the prototype ICE-9 accompanied the happenings held with the Media Van during their tour of American Universities (Truckstop Network, 1970-71); it was also the subject of their publication Inflatocookbook in 1970, an illustrated guide to the art of building one’s own inflatable pod.

partager sur ou