Airport blows up inflatable pods of possibility

Share Canberra's trusted news:
A front view of ‘Twin Minigagarin’ at the airport today. Photo: Helen Musa

“THE whole installation can fit into a pallet-size box, like a big suitcase,” said visiting Berlin technical advisor, Christoph Tettenborn, of “Twin Minigagarin”, a double-domed futuristic installation unveiled in Canberra Airport’s departure lounge today (November 6) as part of DESIGN Canberra.

An initiative of the Berlin design team, Plastique Fantastique, described as “a platform for temporary architecture which samples the performative possibilities of urban environments,” their idea is to create pneumatic [blow-up] installations for temporary and ephemeral activities.

Architect Yena Young and designer of “Twin Minigagarin”, told “CityNews” that people were welcome to enter, have fun and engage with public space.

“The audience will become the performer,” she said and in her view, the airport location was particularly good idea.

“It’s a way we can meet locals and travellers,” she explained. “We also co-operate with musicians and artists and there have been concerts but musicians don’t like the space much, because of the echoes… we wanted to create a synesthetic experience in space,”

Minigagarin in quad format

You can say that again. Visitors entering the large twin globes for the first time this morning were astonished to hear their own voices amplified and reverberating around the space at high volume – this is no space in which to tell a secret.

A “Gagarin” is not just the name of the world’s first cosmonaut but an architectural mini-globe that normally rests on a heavy metal frame. There’s no metal in this case, but rather two linked inflatable domes into which that visitors can walk.

The structure is reusable and modular, allowing the individual pods to be reconfigured to become not just twins but quadruplets, quintuplets or whatever, in what they call “a meaningful connection to the site.”

Tomorrow (November 7) landscape architect and art collector Neil Hobbs will lead a walking tour through the twin globes and other public art works at the airport, noon, and bookings to

“Twin Minigagarin” is part of DESIGN Canberra, running until November 24, all program details at


Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Previous article‘Cinderella’ captivates from the start to the happy end
Next articleTruck driver caught drug driving in Macgregor
Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

Leave a Reply