Blue Marble Circus
Design Biennial Boston, 2017
El Hadi Jazairy + Rania Ghosn
Conceptual Design: Aaron Weller, Larisa Ovalles - Fabrication: Justin Lavallee, Christopher Dewart, Cristina Clow, Lex Agnew, Rawan Al-Saffar, Ching Ying Ngan, Marc Smith, Sabrina Madera, Michael Epstein, Paul Short, Jongbang Park, Xin Wen - Structural Engineer: Paul Kassabian, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger - Optics Consultant: Lee Zamir, Tom Gearty - Autodesk BUILD Space: Athena Moore, Taylor Tobin, Adam Allard - MIT Facilities and Support: Jim Harrington, Jennifer O’Brien, Seth Avecilla, Maria Moran
Blue Marble Circus is a monument to industrial humanity’s plastic footprint, which—although at a planetary scale—remains outside our geographical imagination. The installation appropriates Rome’s ancient Pantheon, known for its spherical “architecture of the cosmos,” to take aim at the dissonance between our individual worries and the vast environmental transformations the Earth is undergoing.
The geodesic sphere echoes “Blue Marble,” the iconic symbol of the environmental movement. All white inside, its plastic material expression invites another imagination now that greenhouse gases and greenhouse agriculture are at the forefront of planetary issues. The blue shrink-wrapped globe is also a camera obscura, an optical device that projects site-specific views of the surroundings into the chamber. The greenhouse miniature of the world is hence an architectural invitation to re-learn, like Atlas, how to carry the world—and all there is above it—on our shoulders.