Program for Air and Space

Director Matthew Lippincott

I gave this talk Last month at PIFAS as part of Architecture with/out Architects, The talk is half an hour, please go watch it or download it at (I was going to embed it but it always auto-plays owing to a flash player bug). The talk was given inside an inflatable structure I made, protecting us from the indoor rain of a leaky roof. It’s about my own work and how shifting cultural values of human worth and power shape our relationship with technology.

This is actually a reconstruction from the original audio, as my old TRV 900 took a tumble early on. Don’t balance a tripod near the continuous floorwallceiling of a shifting tensile membrane.

Matt Lippincott presents on the possibilities of inflatable technology


At first I didn’t believe the video- something was wrong about the shape of my balloon. It wasn’t a tetrahedron at all. The final seam was put together wrong, making, in the words of K-Fai, “a giant trashbag, a giant pillow.” The thought never occurred to me during the launch, I couldn’t think of myself as so neglectful. I should follow my own directions (expect a how-to soon). This massive construction error explains all our problems with the balloon- inflation, lift, the seam bursting… at least i didn’t crash a $50,000,000 probe into the surface of Mars.Thanks to Jacob Hellman for introducing me to PIFAS, Rebecca Frost for organizing Architecture With/Out Architects, Brandon, K-Fai and Rich for picking me up, feeding me, and helping all weekend, Wendy Hyatt for putting me up, K-Fai and the Philadelphia City Parks staff for letting us fix the balloon in their basement, Rich for filming, and everyone who came to the launch. PIFAS Aerospace- still better than SEPTA.

Matt Lippincott presents on the possibilities of inflatable technology.

"From blow-up space stations to radical politics, inflatable habitats and vehicles on land, sea, and air are part of the dream and promise of the Space Age. In this talk Mathew Lippincott will sketch the recent past and exciting present of do-it-yourself inflatable technology. Experience temporary structures, low-cost flight, inexpensive construction techniques, and the advances in common materials that are opening aerospace up to artists. "

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