Combining PNEUmatic (air-inflatable) architecture with a noMADic ethos, the PNEUMAD enacts a form of anti-heroic desire to escape permanence, solidity and place-bound dwelling.

  • Type Exhibition,
  • Location Everywhere
  • Status Built
  • Date 2014
  • Collaborators

    Min | Day

Recalling the revolutionary-experimental fervor of 1968, but with 21st-century technical sophistication, PNEUMAD is prototype for nomads who want to spread out. A lightweight, deployable, translucent envelope – a minimal, transportable enclosure – PNEUMAD is a covered wagon for the 21st century. The inflatable offers one distinct advantage – it is not limited by the dimensions and volume of the vehicle itself. Complementing the mobile structure, PNEUMAD has no interior plan, no fixed infrastructure – everything moves. MOD’s Soft Stones allow the nomad to resist fixity inside and out. PNEUMAD is a home for homo ludens, “man the player,” the precursor and perhaps successor to homo sapiens.

PNEUMAD was designed for the 2014 Truck-A-Tecture exhibition at Kaneko and later appeared in PLAY, also at Kaneko (2015) and in Shape Up! at the Sheldon Museum of Art in 2016.


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The PNEUMAD trailer is a compact, roadworthy aluminum box that can house all necessary components: the deflated dome, mobile furnishings, battery pack, and fan.

More important than the prototype’s intentions is PNEUMAD's own alternative history of misinterpretation. After appearing in a museum exhibition foregrounding mobile dwelling concepts, the prototype has been sought by diverse entities for an extreme variety of often inappropriate uses: as emergency relief housing by the US Department of Defense, a techno-Bedouin tent by a luxury goods dealer in Dubai, a photo both at a local high school prom, a prototype mobile fallout shelter, a medical isolation facility at a West African Ebola clinic, and a potential feature of a reality TV program.

image: PNEUMAD at the Sheldon Museum of Art.

Pneumad model homes: possible collective aggregations


Mobitecture: Architecture on the Move, by Rebecca Roke, Phaidon, 2017

Omaha World Herald, “Kaneko’s latest is child’s play” by Casey Logan, June 2, 2015

Summa+ #141, “Morando Na Estrada”, by Constanza Llorente, Argentina and Brazil, May 2015


Photography By Photography by Larry Gawel (Sheldon) and Tom Kessler (Kaneko)
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