Rhode Island’s Pneuhaus is stretching the boundaries of inflatable spaces to create art galleries, event spaces, and more.
An art and design collective founded by Matt Muller, Levi Bedall, and Augie Lehrecke, Pneuhaus began creating pneumatic architectural installations in 2014. The idea came about through a collaboration with a group at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) who wanted to create an interdisciplinary, mobile gallery space for students to gather, display their work, and host events.
“After making one and inflating it for the first time,” recalls Bedall, who, along with Lehrecke, was then an undergrad in furniture design at RISD, “we were so excited about the energy and engagement people brought to the space that we decided to focus on making more inflatables for our thesis.” The team soon discovered huge potential for innovation in the medium.
Recent works include Pneumatic Masonry, an ongoing exploration of semipermanent inflatable construction; Camera Obscura, a modern take on traditional pinhole image projection; and 40 Foot Dome, an empty void that can be used for video art, music, dance performances, and more. Because they’re packable, the inflatables can be transported and rented easily for a wide variety of events.
Looking to the future, Bedall says the collective plans to “continue pushing the boundaries of inflatable spaces,” and also hopes to expand the scale of objects made—with furniture and toys on one end and more permanent buildings on the other. “We are very fortunate to be in a position where our work kind of advertises itself,” he says.
Top image: Fabric Prism No. 2, Pneuhaus. Photo courtesy of Pneuhaus