So light, so thin

Local/Global Rest Area at Great Salt Lake Desert


The dematerialized tower, lighter than air, creates a counterpoint to the flatness and expanse of the desert. While exploring poetical and affective dimensions, the tower also provides living resources in the desert.

It rises up to the clouds and reaches to the sky, catching evaporated water, seemingly seeking vanished dreams. Above the cloud, it is a place of thin air and condensed water. The vapor catcher, like the spider web, is a huge net that traps the condensed water in the sky, collects it and sends it down below. On the ground, an array of huge heat absorbing plates pre-heats air for the balloons. At times, the grey water is evaporated on its hot surface. Steam appears in the desert. The tower completes the cycles of water and air.

One thousand meters tall and yet this captive balloon tower would leave the earth like a seed if it were not tied to the ground. The tower is both power and lightness, permanent and ephemeral. Every morning, the tower comes down completely to the ground and people step on to different modules. The tower is filled with hot air ready for lift-off. The hinged modules rises up part by part, like a train driving towards the sky. The floating tower is only tied to the ground at a point. Everything is in tension. We always believed we could fly.**Winner of Lyceum Competition 2011**