Daedalum Pittsburgh

KDKA video: Check out Downtown’s new immersive experience Architects of Air: Daedalum

Photo above courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Though this exhibit was scheduled to run through Sept. 4, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has announced that it will now close Sunday, Aug. 20.

It feels like you’re stepping into another world when you experience the new immersive art exhibit in downtown Pittsburgh called Architects of Air: Daedalum. The monumental sculpture is inflated by air with natural light illuminating the cavernous coves and tunnels, inviting you to explore and get lost in the experience.

“This is a maze. The intention is not to have you get lost but to lose yourself,” says Ashley Moran Nunn, luminarium manager for Architects of Air.

Exterior photo of Daedalum by Stephen Wright courtesy of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

The sculpture is handmade in the United Kingdom using really thin PVC. Architects of Air has six of these exhibits touring around the world, but this stop in Pittsburgh is the longest stop in the company’s 30-year history.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust knew people of all ages would enjoy it.

  • “It feels weird. I haven’t felt something like this before,” says 9-year-old Ayla Pohrt.
  • “I think it’s beautiful with all the colors,” says 5-year-old Avi Pohrt.
  • 9-year-old Walker Huston describes it “like an outer space space shuttle.”

It’s a complete sensory experience with the sounds of calming music, the feel of soft ground under your feet, and colors that change with the sunlight. Visitors are encouraged to sit, lie down or just take time to calm your mind.

Marie Bluemling, who is 11-years old, says it’s “relaxing, because it’s all music and lights and there’s no other noises.”

Twelve-year-old Ty Keller-Finucane from Point Breeze agrees. “I really like it,” Ty says. “The colors and the music that’s playing right now — it’s really calming.”

Lots of people are drawn to an area in the exhibit called “the tree.” If you let your imagination go, you can see the trunk and the branches. The artist was inspired by the Greek myth about Daedalus and the labyrinth he created, which had a tree right at the center.

From the outside, you see references of Islamic architecture — or maybe a bounce house.

Clearview Federal Credit Union helped make this possible. Erin Forrester who works in public relations for Clearview, was blown away by the experience. “Walking in here is overwhelming to see,” she says. “You forget you’re in the city for a moment. Seeing everybody’s joy, it just really brought a smile to my face.”

Tickets are $25 or $30 for adults depending on the day, and $15 for kids under age 16. The exhibit is located downtown in what’s called “The Backyard” until September 4. There’s also a beer garden outside.

Check it out in this video: