MCA Bus Shelter
The bus shelter is inspired by inflatable architecture from the 1960s, which was part of a utopian dream to design buildings and even cities that people could rearranged on a whim, a fundamentally social conception of design. UrbanLab’s inflatable bus shelter is designed as a lightweight (about 20 pounds), inexpensive (about $100), mobile prototype for placing a transit node wherever deemed necessary by the general public. Assembling the DIY recycled plastic structure is as easy as pitching a tent. The geometry is similar to a soap bubble, which always takes on a size and shape corresponding to the minimum possible surface area for the largest possible enclosed volume of air. A bubble’s surface stresses are equivalent at every point and in every direction; its form is optimized in relation to its material. By adding a pattern to the surface of the bubble’s skin, structural information is thermally sealed into the pneumatic. The inflatable bus shelter was part of the Material Evidence exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.