General Idea : make the launch of the Balloon, keep the Balloon floating in the air, tying with ropes to the ground, in such a way that the Balloon stay suspended over the Auroville’s Amphitheater for a certain duration. The idea of a free launch was rejected to avoid any problems. (Uncertain fall of the Balloon – tree, building, road, etc – )

The final event was a story in itself. The clear structure, designed in the beginning – a start event, followed by a final event – did not happen. In place of one event, there were four final events. The project became a collective project, supported by the team of the Amphitheater in charge of the management of this sacred place of Auroville.

ACT 1 – On the first of May in the early morning, the deadline decided 10 days before could not be reached. An unfinished work was brought in the middle of the amphitheater and it was decided to benefit from the presence of people that came to attend the event to finish the Balloon. For more than one hour an half, a wonderful collective energy was developed to complete the work. Then, the inflation of the Balloon started. The shape became more and more great when suddenly, the Balloon took an unexpected direction. It fell on a barrier that had been arranged near to make shadow. The balloon ripped over 2 square meters. The event was stopped.

ACT 2 – On May 11, after repairing the Balloon, a new event was announced, taking place in the morning. The announcement stated that the launch would occur if weather conditions would be good. But, this was unfortunately not the case. This time, 15 minutes before the event, a storm started in the sky. This was accompanied by a heavy rain which couldn’t stop almost during the four days after.

ACT 3 – On Friday 15, the weather seemed to be better and a new trial was announced in the afternoon. Together with the public, the operation of making the hot air inside the paper construction started. Slowly the shape appeared. Then, after about 20 minutes, we observed that the air could not be hotter. The torch could not produce a greater flame due to a problem with the adapter attached to the gas bottle – although this one was full. After having waited 10 more minutes, we stopped, disappointed by this unfortunate event.

ACT 4  – On Monday, May 18, the launch was retried. Because of the difficulty to predict the weather – which should be no rain, and also without wind – it was decided to try again in the late afternoon at 5 pm. This time, a completely different system of torch was used with a much more intense pressure.  As a result, in less than 10 minutes, the Balloon took his shape and could be fixed vertically in the air. The air inside was heated for a while. Slowly the Balloon asked to fly. The presence of the wind – which was not very powerful, but with unexpected gusts – did not allow us to place the torch achieve with wax prepared to keep the air warm when the Balloon is in the air. The risk was that the paper jump on a flame.
But when the Balloon was released, it began to fly, finally.

For about 5 minutes, the Paper Balloon flew into the sky of Auroville.

Pictures beloow from Giorgio, Ashwin, Pavan, Michel, Alex (see name of files)
Many thanks to the team of the amphitheater, to the public and especially :
Ashwin – Paul – Aaron – Brian Lev – Vjeko – Alex – Giorgio – Deepak – Celestine – Vijayakumar – Aikya – Subodh – Tom – Pavan – Michel


Act 4 - 02 Picture from Michel Act 4 - 03 Picture from Michel Act 4 - 04 Picture from Giorgio Act 4 - 05 Picture from Giorgio Act 4 - 06 Picture from Giorgio Act 4 - 07 Picture from Ashwin Act 4 - 08 Picture from MichelGaspardVanParys -PaperBalloon 150518 - Copyright Act 4 - 10 Picture from Ashwin


Act 3 - 01 Picture from Giorgio Act 3 - 02 Picture from Giorgio Act 3 - 03 Picture from Giorgio Act 3 - 04 Picture from Giorgio Act 3 - 05 Picture from Giorgio


Act 2 - 02Act 2 - 01


Act 1 - 01 Picture from Giorgio Act 1 - 02 Picture from Pavan Act 1 - 03 Picture from Alex Act 1 - 04 Picture from Alex Act 1 - 05 Picture from Alex


Image Announcement in JPG less than 100 MB



… will be soon added !

Here below the introduction text of the event.

Hello everybody and thank you very much for coming ! Here few words to explain my project.
I am architect and in Mid-November i decided to do a trip and go far away in a place where i never been before. The idea was to go overland and sea.
At this time i was asking me how to trace this trip and I found the followed idea ; let’s ask to people i met on the trip to made a handprint, a drawing of their hand on a piece of paper, in such a way that i can collect material and do after a construction, a shape with which i can play.
So, i chose as final destination Auroville because it constituted for me a background that inspires me. I mean by that, a place where there was a story talking about architecture, building a new town, universality, and human.
I arrived here in Mid-March and i stopped the collection of paper which means i had together the representation of more than 60 persons coming from 20 different nationalities. Than i started to build the Balloon.
So, why this project ?
As architect, this project is for me a sort of challenge, an exercise, a research. First on myself – by jumping into the unknown – and secondly on materiality – what would be the final expression of this assemblage of paper having collected plenty of different energy. Through this exercise, the project is giving some sense to my live for a certain duration. This means also that, through this existentialist process plus the research on materiality, the Balloon works for me as a sort of “Spiritual envelope”.
Following this, i consider the project as an architectural project because it is the way i am looking to practice this job. The research is the following ; before to be a question of design, how the architecture can be an envelope that make sense for the human, and how this envelope can react with the users.
As i describe the project as an architectural object, i can also say that the project is an expression of “the increasing of my consciousness”. If we look at the Balloon now, it has a certain size, which is the representation of the beginning of my trip. I can say then – if the Balloon is getting bigger after the inflation – that my consciousness has opened, through this trip, to some different things i never saw before such as landscape, people, culture etc.
Then, this architectural object is also a work on “Unity”. This because there was of course a challenge in this project which was ; “how to assemble together into a sphere those 120 squares having different colors”. One of the things i found is to work with this range of color at the top and at the beginning of the Balloon which could balance all theses different energy of different agitated colors.
And in fact with all this process, the idea is that maybe – as i am working on myself with this project – there will be at the end a sort of “mirror effect” for people looking at the entire project. In this way the project can than maybe bring some inspiration.
Ok, so, let’s start the… eleven test of this project !

Act 4 - 01 Picture from Ashwin