From Our Archive
This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

Air Fair

Alan Parkinson’s “luminarium,” Levity II, is something like an inflatable playground on steroids. Parkinson—part artist, part engineer, and part little kid—and his team at Architects of Air, the company he founded in 1992, create mini, plastic cities through which visitors wander, enjoying a light show as they go. “It’s really quite simple and low-tech,” Parkinson says. “We use plastic to filter light in the same way that stained glass does in a church. There are no flashing bulbs, no changing colors. It’s a very soothing and comforting experience.” The sculptures (Levity II is his 12th project) tour art fairs and parade grounds around the world, and more than one million people have passed through their hollow halls. This summer Levity II can be found in Heerenveen, the Netherlands, and Budapest. But if you’re unable to make the trip, it can be set up privately just for you—seven days will run about $30,000.


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