Inflatable architecture’s rich history just got a cool new structure to add to its annals, courtesy of Pneuhaus, a Rhode Island-based design collective. Compound Camera is a 20-foot inflatable geodesic dome with a twist—109 of them in fact, taking the form of pinhole cameras on the exterior of the puffy pavilion.
First installed at the Pawtucket Arts Festival last year, the inflatable structure plays on the concept of the camera obscura, allowing light to filter through a tiny hole placed on each of the exterior hexagonal panels making up the dome. Each pinhole projects an inverted image of the surrounding environment onto its translucent interior surface, creating a hundred slightly different takes on what’s outside.
Fully immersive, Compound Camera allows visitors to further manipulate the “pictures” by pushing on the wall’s flexible material, “playing with the fundamental properties of light, optics, and vision in a tangible way,” as the designers shared on their website. “Compound Camera offers a more analogue perspective on how our surroundings can change the way we perceive the world.”
It’s like seeing the world through the eyes of a fly, but inside out and cooler, and if the fly’s eyes were made out of glass, or a hundred water droplets. See for yourself. The effect is mesmerizing.