Cloud Cover
May 17th, 2013


Hovering above the Flat Lot, the Cloud Cover builds a microclimate for summer events all while rendering Flint Public Art Project visible from Google Earth. The project maximizes spatial presence while minimizing both necessary structure and footprint on the parking lot. The cloud’s volume is formed by the aggregation of 729 biodegradable latex weather balloons tethered to division lines on the parking lot.

The cloud canopy reduces the urban heat island effect constructing a pleasant local microclimate. The shaded plot invites visitors to take cover underneath the canopy on sunny days, while at the same time experiencing Flint’s changing skies. Local nurseries and greenhouses will be asked to contribute plants and trees for the period of the installation. The vegetation is a means to mitigate heat islands, protect climate, and improve air quality. The simple assembly of the canopy is designed for local volunteers to weave the rope grid in one day. Made of light material, the transport of the cloud balloons has minimal environmental impact. In the logic of a tangram, the set of balloons are put together to form different shapes. The furniture is made of recycled palettes transformed into rolling furniture: partitions, seats, stands, and planters. The structure-free ground plan allows flexible and adaptive arrangement of furniture: they will be deployed for the events and stacked up in pyramids to allow the regular use of the parking lot on other days.

At the end of the season, helium is put back to bottles. The balloons will be flattened into triangular-shaped panels, recycled into souvenir shoulder bags, and sold by local retailers as well as cultural institutions in Michigan. In its afterlife, the Cloud Cover, like pieces of the Berlin Wall, will carry Flint’s environmental icon to the world.


Team: Hadi Jazairy, Rania Ghosn, Aziza Chaouni, Mani Tabrizi, Dorin Paul, Christopher Reznich, Nicolas Roland, John Bautista and Vjosana Shkurti.