Traveling Art: The Exxopolis Luminarium

Luminarium 2013-17

For 20 years now, the Architects of Air have created traveling art pieces known as the Luminarium. Their creations are more well traveled than some travel bloggers I know – visiting over 38 countries and providing extraordinary eye candy for over 2 million visitors.

Architects of Air

Designed by Alan Parkinson and completely made of 9000 PVC pieces, a team in Nottingham England hand cut and glued the pieces together by hand. This creates a piece of artwork that playfully displays colors and architecture together by just using the light that enters this inflatable building.

Architects of Air

Much of the inspiration for the design comes from nature and Islamic architecture. The CUPOLA, or the principal dome (and my favorite part of the installment) has windows that simulate stained glass using the Penrose tiling discovered mathematically by physicist Roger Penrose. If you take the time to stare into the design, many different shapes and patterns will appear.

Architects of AirLuminarium 2013-19

Walking in, I can say that it was close to a religious experience. This year’s piece, called the Exxopolis, took me back to my nostalgic days of Burning Man art installations on the playa. The colors so delicately bounced off the walls; the music was ethereal and perfect; the architecture, sublime.

Traveling Art

Some people had to wait several hours in line to get into the “gallery” for their 20 minutes. I could see why though – it really was inspiring.

Traveling Art

We left floating on air, with smiles permanently attached on our faces. It has been a long time since I had felt this way – like a child looking at the world with wonder.

Traveling Art

Have you been to an art installment that spoke to you? What was it? Where did you see it?


Luminarium 2013-8

Luminarium 2013-10

Luminarium 2013-11

Luminarium 2013-15

Luminarium 2013-13

Luminarium 2013-12


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14 Responses to “Traveling Art: The Exxopolis Luminarium”

  1. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures February 4, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

    OMG what an awesome experience! I love these shots!!!

    • Erica February 5, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

      It was an amazing experience.

  2. TammyOnTheMove February 5, 2013 at 12:33 am #

    That looks incredible. Those colors are amazing! Ever so slightly psychedelic, but amazing!

    • Erica February 5, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

      TOTALLY. You do have to leave after a while though. The red starts getting to you.

  3. Maria February 5, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

    I would never leave. Nope. You’d have to pull me out and yeah, I’d be kicking and screaming. 🙂

  4. Ali February 6, 2013 at 9:14 am #

    Definitely looks interesting, I can see why you enjoyed it so much!

  5. Stephanie - The Travel Chica February 10, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    I love stuff like this. Very cool and great photos.

  6. Camels & Chocolate February 10, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    I would like to go there now, please!

  7. Federico February 11, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    If these aren’t colorful photos then I’m not sure what are.

    • Erica February 13, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

      They were so intense it was hard for the camera to really register them!

  8. Ayngelina February 11, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    What a cool project, even more reason to head to Austin.

  9. Emily in Chile February 16, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    I love all these colors! And it looks pretty cool from the outside too.

  10. Alex February 18, 2013 at 7:47 am #

    Wow! I MUST see this! I once waited in line on two different days for several hours (the first day I waited for hours but had to abandon the line so I wouldn’t miss class… what a dedicated student!) in order to see the Zaha Hadid exhibit in Central Park. Totally worth it!

    • Erica February 21, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

      That is some dedication lady! I think I would have done the same thing.

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