Every kid has dreamed of sitting inside of a cloud. As a young kid, I pictured them as being more like tough, hovering wads of cotton candy that were thick enough to hold weight but airy enough to stay in the sky. The day I heard that you’d fall right through if you tried to sit on top of one was the day my dreams of sitting on the clouds ended. But today, Valencia-based Clap Studio has designed an art installation called Cumulus that brings those dreams of sitting inside of clouds back to life.
Inspired by the lightness and calm of clouds, Cumulus was designed to be a muted, soothing hub with a partly enclosed interior where people can feel at ease. Pulled taut around steel beams that form the shape of a sphere or Chinese lantern, the elastic fabric creates a round, internal space that’s similar to the feel of a trampoline. Inside, the globe of bright white fabric evokes the feeling of being suspended inside of a cloud. Three hanging light fixtures also brighten the interior to enhance the interior’s relaxing ambiance, mixing warm fluorescent light with the optic brightness of the elastic fabric.
Speaking on the design of Cumulus, the designers note that, “Inside the cloud, the body seems to gravitate with a feeling of lightness, it is the place where calm reigns. Through the fabric, you get to see only the shadows of what is outside and the sounds aren’t clear enough to perceive their origin.” As the years go by and human productivity increases, at times it might feel like the feeling of calm is a depleted resource. Installations like Cumulus help to make moments of respite that much more accessible, bringing us back to the magic we felt when we thought we could sit on the clouds.
Designer: Clap Studio
With elastic fabric similar to that found on trampolines, Cumulus is tensile and springy.
Partly enclosed, Cumulus features a circular hole that grants entry and exit to the installation with an attachable net that props guests in the installation’s center.
Guests can cozy into the corners of Cumulus to recline deeply against the installation’s side walls.
Hanging light fixtures brighten the space to enhance Cumulus’s cloudlike ambiance.
Opening up to the sky, an exposed skylight reveals views of actual clouds in the sky.
Shadows emanate from the outside looking in and vice versa, thanks to the elastic fabric’s membrane-like skin.