Images courtesy of Cedric Price Fonds, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal.
Assistant Professor Whitney Moon, PhD, RA is currently a visiting scholar in residence at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montréal, where she is researching the instrumental role that the late British architect Cedric Price (1934-2003) played in the development and standardization of pneumatic (a.k.a. inflatable) architecture.
Cedric Price, and the Rise and Fall of Pneumatic Architecture
Cedric Price was less interested in buildings, and more intent on structures that could anticipate future change and use. He also believed that new technologies were imperative to innovating the built environment and facilitating social progress. This is why Price worked closely with engineer Frank Newby to bring attention to the potential of “air”, which until then had been mostly invisible to architecture. Following their collaboration on the London Zoo Aviary and Fun Palace—the latter of which featured an inflatable environment—Price and Newby formed Air Structures Research in 1963 as a think-tank to promote the advancement of pneumatic architecture. In the ensuing decade, they explored and advocated for the potential of air structures through rigorous research methods and speculative design proposals. This project interrogates not only Price’s instrumental role in the advancement of air structures, but the historical context that led to both the rise and fall of pneumatic architecture in the 1960s and 70s.
Here is a link to the public talk Whitney will be giving at the CCA in late July: