The Cloud: code rather than carbon for the London Olympics

Friday, November 13, 2009 12:37

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image the CLOUD ©www.raisethecloud.org

The cloud is a proposal for an Olympic monument in London for the 2012 games designed by a multidisciplinary team of leading architects, engineers and artists. Revealed on November 11 2009 The Cloud embodies a radically new type of Olympic structure and architecture; it is a lightweight, transparent, carbon neutral, versatile, live information display uniting people in the skies of Olympic Game host city.

“The lightweight transparent tower, composed of a ‘cloud’ of inflatable, light-emitting spheres, would create a spatial, three-dimensional display in the skies of London, fed by real time information from all over the world.”


By deploying the fluidity of the design process The Cloud defies more traditional and static architecture and creates a malleable, responsive, almost living structure that provides a new type of place, suspended in the air and operating as a real-time feedback loop on collective urban activity while producing the energy it uses.

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images the CLOUD ©www.raisethecloud.org

The press release reads:“The lightweight transparent tower, composed of a “cloud” of inflatable, light-emitting spheres, would create a spatial, three-dimensional display in the skies of London, fed by real time information from all over the world.”

This innovative proposal, apart from redefining architecture as we know it, also foresees people participation at all levels, from global fundraising ‘cloudraising’ – which will also determine the size of the structure – through social networks, such a Facebook, Twitter and Youtube to energy harvesting, people ascending the cloud will contribute to its function as the energy they omit is transformed into electricity by three regenerative lifts.

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images the CLOUD ©www.raisethecloud.org

Carlo Ratti of MIT senseable city laboratory, one of the project leaders, best describes it as: “a new form of collective expression and experience and an updated symbol of our dawning age: code rather than carbon”

Sun, wind, water and air are fundamental for the clouds function and overall experience, these elements will be used to generate and store energy, regulate the temperature within the inflatable spheres and keep them afloat, they will also render the experience unique and ‘gusty’ for its visitors, who for the first time will be able to see the whole city and the entire world from the cloudy skies of London.

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image the CLOUD ©www.raisethecloud.org

The Cloud team at the MIT Senseable City Laboratory is composed of Carlo Ratti, Assaf Biderman, Mauro Martino, E Roon Kang, working together with Walter Nicolino and Giovanni de Niederhausern. The Cloud team includes artist Tomas Saraceno, digital designer Alex Haw, lightweight-structures expert Joerg Schleich, engineering group Arup, landscape architects Agence Ter, graphic designers Studio FM, visualization experts GMJ. Advisors to the team include Umberto Eco, Marco Santambrogio, Chris Bangle, Giuliano da Empoli, Antoni Muntadas, William Mitchell, Paul Richens, Gianluca Salvatori, Caterina Ginzburg, Liza Fior, Margo

Please visit the Cloud website for full and comprehensive information on the structure, function and making of the cloud.

Dan Hill, Arup engineer and Cloud team member, has written an excellent post here on his City of Sound Blog covering all the ins and outs.

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2 Responses to “The Cloud: code rather than carbon for the London Olympics”

  1. Marcia Caines says:

    November 13th, 2009 at %I:%M %p

    code rather than carbon – project proposal for Olympic London http://tiny.cc/bNVW7

  2. Marcia Caines says:

    November 13th, 2009 at %I:%M %p

    code rather than carbon – project proposal for Olympic London http://tiny.cc/bNVW7

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