In the turbulent year 1968, student protests in Paris and around the world challenged established authority. To a group of architectural students at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts calling themselves Utopie, the idea of the inflatable held the promise of mobility, movement, energy, and escape. Strongly influenced by American military technology and comic books - as well as by the work of Buckminster Fuller, Henri Lefebvre, jean Baudrillard, and London's Archigram - the Utopie group envisioned an ideal world of pneumatic furniture, structures, and environments.
While Utopie architects were unable to realise their dream of a society literally built on air, their fanciful , exuberant, witty, and highly detailed drawings remain some of the most extraordinary in modern architecture.
The Inflatable Moment documents this collision of architectural, social, and political forces. It presents a complete, annotated catalogue of the designs of the Utopie architects, showcased along with other inflatable experiments of the period; recent reflections from the three architects, jean Aubert, Jean-Paul Jungmann, and Antoine Stinco, accompany essays on the pneumatic phenomenon and the intellectual history of the Utopie group.