World’s first inflatable concert hall debuts in Japan’s disaster area

worlds first inflatable concert hall debuts in japans disaster area ark nova 3

The world’s first inflatable concert hall is all set to debut this weekend, hosting a number of special events in northeastern Japan, the region devastated by 2011’s quake and tsunami.

The extraordinary purple and red structure, which can hold around 500 people, was the idea of Lucerne Festival’s artistic and executive director Michael Haefliger, who worked with British artist and sculptor Anish Kapoor and Japanese architect Arata Isozaki to make it a reality.

Comprising a coated polyester material, Ark Nova, which is 18 meters high and 35 meters wide, can be quickly deflated, allowing for easy transportation to other locations.

ark nova 4

“The images of 11 March, 2011 have left their mark on all of us,” Haefliger told the Telegraph. “Since we at Lucerne Festival have maintained a very close relationship to Japan for many years, I felt a strong desire to make a contribution to overcoming the consequences of the catastrophe, within the scope of what we have to offer.”

The blow-up concert hall will host its first events this weekend in the town of Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture, with concerts by the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, traditional kabuki performances and musical workshops for local children all planned.

Concert-goers will sit on bench seats made from cedar trees that following the tsunami had to be cleared from around nearby Zuiganji Temple. The wood was also used to make acoustic reflectors for inside the hall.

Kapoor said he was “honored” to have been asked to help create Ark Nova.

“The structure defines a space for community and for music in which color and form enclose,” the artist and sculptor said, adding, “I hope that the devastation can be overcome by creativity. Music can give solace and bring community together and in so doing can help us to see we are not alone.”

[Images: Anish Kapoor]

From this….

ark nova 1

….to this.ark nova 2

Home Theater

Sony’s 360 Reality Audio is the epic sound revolution you didn’t know you needed

After Sony’s utterly bizarre press conference, I almost missed what was perhaps the most impactful sonic experience at the show. Luckily, I went back to Sony’s booth on the last day of the show, only to have my mind blown.
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.
Movies & TV

Here's everything we know about 'John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum'

John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum, the third installment of the wildly successful action series that stars Keanu Reeves as a deadly assassin forced out of retirement, hits theaters in May 2019. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Emerging Tech

Short film celebrates New Yorker’s amazing robot costumes

New York City resident Peter Kokis creates stunning robot costumes out of household trash. His designs are huge, heavy, and extremely intricate, and never fail to turn heads when he's out and about.
Emerging Tech

Why wait? Here are some CES 2019 gadgets you can buy right now

Companies come to CES to wow us with their cutting edge technology, but only a few products are slated to hit the market right away. Here is our list of the best CES 2019 tech you can buy right now.
Emerging Tech

Drones: New rules could soon allow flights over people and at night

With commercial operators in mind, the U.S. government is looking to loosen restrictions on drone flights with a set of proposals that would allow the machines greater freedom to fly over populated areas and also at night.
Emerging Tech

Yamaha’s new app lets you tune your motorcycle with a smartphone

It used to be that if you wanted to tune your motorcycle’s engine and tweak its performance, you needed specialized tools and even more specialized knowledge. Yamaha’s new Power Tuner app changes that.
Emerging Tech

In a first for humankind, China is growing plants on the moon

Having recently landed a probe on the far side of the moon, China announced that it managed to grow the first plant on the moon, too. Here's why that matters for deep space travel.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Emerging Tech

Want to know which drones are flying near you? There’s an app for that

Want to know what that mysterious drone buzzing over your head is up to? A new system developed by AirMap, Google Wing, and Kittyhawk.io could soon tell you -- via a map on your phone.
Emerging Tech

A Japanese hotel fires half its robot staff for being bad at their jobs

Japan’s oddball Henn na Hotel has fired half of its 243 robot staff. The reason? Because these labor-saving machines turned out to be causing way more problems than they were solving.
Emerging Tech

CERN plans to build a massive particle collider that dwarfs the LHC

CERN already has the world's biggest particle accelerator. Now it wants a bigger one. Meet the 9 billion euro Future Circular Collider that will allow physicists to extend their study of the universe and matter at the smallest level.
Emerging Tech

Forget fireworks. Japan will soon have artificial meteor showers on tap

Tokyo-based startup Astro Live Experiences is preparing to launch its first artificial meteor shower over Japan, serving as a showcase of its prowess in the space entertainment sector.