Daylight Investigations

The Light Circus






Kookmin University


Korea (Republic of)

The Light Circus

Project Description

In every spring, people in East Asia refrain from having any outdoor activities due to severe air pollution caused by yellow-micro dust. It has been annually delivered from the desert of Mongol and east China by westerlies. This annual catastrophe starts from late winter and peaks at the start of the spring. In this period, micro dust particles reflects the natural light coming from the sun; creating yellow foggy atmosphere for over a months. During the dust period, people opt to stay indoor. Unfortunately, the condition of highly dense city like Seoul, already experiencing air pollution even without the help of this annual event, gets worse. In this period, Usage of public parks dramatically drops off whereas air contamination density skyrockets. Problem is that people are getting used to this; staying indoor and laying at the bed is becoming a seasonal trend instead of laying at the public park enjoying warm spring light and scent of fresh blossoms. Enjoying the warmth of spring is indeed becoming like a unicorn in a circus. Our main goal was to investigate the way to create architectural light shelter that can accommodate people during the dust period, letting them enjoy their spring activities with flower viewing. Since it has to be seasonally installed and disjointed, it had to be light and easy to build. Thus, we have brought the concept of good old circus tents. By placing them in public parks, the tents, it will provide current generations with the fluttering moments that once was given to the past generations. Since our goal was not only to provide people with the space that they can do various spring activities but also warmth of direct sunlight that can be felt during the spring with moderate temperature, the natural sunlight has to be put into the tent unlike any other indoor facilities. we sought for the way to make this happen and decided to use the massive balloons with the light cable. By floating them above the thick dust film which is settling down maximum of 1 km above the ground due to the weight difference with the air, it can directly supply good amount of natural light into the tent for people to enjoy and the plants to actively photosynthesize. Indeed, It will be a circus that we watch, experience, and smell the performance of daylight.