Bubbletecture Sharon Francis

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A fascinating and fun guide to more than 200 inflatable designs

Although inflatable objects have been around for more than 200 years, architects, artists, and designers keep rediscovering this deceptively simple - often playful, and occasionally bizarre - technology.

Bubbletecture brings together inflatables in every conceivable size, shape, and hue across the realms of architecture, design, art, and fashion. From inflatable dresses and hats to buildings employing cutting-edge technologies, from ingenious chairs, lights, bowls, and even egg cups to children's toys and provocative art installations, Bubbletecture demonstrates that inflatable design is simply irresistible.

Architects featured include OMA (Rem Koolhaas), BIG (Bjarke Ingels), and Arata Isozaki, and design stars such as Snarkitecture. It includes work by cutting edge artists such Yayoi Kusama, Christo, and Anish Kapoor and by well-known fashion-designers such as Balenciaga, Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons, and many more.

Following in the footsteps of Nanotecture, Mobitecture, and Pet-tecture, this guide is a must-have for designers, architects, and artist, both professional and students, as well as anyone who has every blown up a beach ball!


  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 184 x 124 mm (7 1/4 x 4 7/8 in)
  • Pages: 288 pp
  • Illustrations: 250 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9780714877778

Sharon Francis is an architect with more than twenty years' experience in private practice in the UK, Hong Kong, and the USA. She has taught at three Australian universities and contributed to several architecture- and design-based books. She currently lives and works in New York City.

"The bubble is officially back in fashion with an effervescent new publication by Phaidon."—Aesthetica

"Inflatable architecture is back in fashion."—Dezeen

"Bubbletecture captures the incredible range of inflatable architecture, fashion, art, and design that has been created over the last several decades."—Colossal

"[A survey] of lively and surreal inflatables in architecture, design, fashion and art... Often ephemeral in nature... and they can be quite tongue-in-cheek, too."—Artsy

"Fantastic air-filled forms - inflatable technology feels revolutionary."—The Wall Street Journal

"Phaidon's book comes at a critical moment: one in which the possibilities for inflatables technology are taking us to innovations we once only dreamt of [...], but also one in which the material that propelled such technology into popularity - cheap, mass-produced plastic - is being examined for its destructive environmental impact. More sustainable developments of the material hold better promise, however, such as the rise of ETFE panels - deployed powerfully in Grimshaw Architects' Eden Project (1998)... Whatever the future of 'bubbletecture', it already has a fascinating history and trajectory."—Blueprint

"Bubbletecture shines a light on how inflatable design has been used in everything from fashion to domesticated goods."—Hypebeast

"[A] comprehensive dive into inflatable objects from over the past two centuries... Compulsively flippable."—New York Magazine

"Meet the hypersaturated, candy-colored... Pocket-sized compendium to all things inflatable."—The Architect's Newspaper

"Bubbletecture is a fun-sized book with a bubblegum-pink cover from Phaidon, shows off 200 inflated projects to catch your eye and lift your spirit - from temporary shelters to airy dresses to park benches... Measuring about 5 by 7 inches, the book is great to toss into your carry-on and read during take-off."—Aspire: Design and Home Magazine

"Like tiny houses, these images capture the imagination-everyone's wondered how certain bounce houses or statues were built, and this book gives you a glimpse inside. People will be tickled to see how inflatable pieces have been used to make everything from clothes to furniture."—Forbes Online

"Bubbletecture demonstrates that inflatable design is simply irresistible."—Architectural West Magazine

"For the design geek."—Family Circle Magazine

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