AirDD: Design Outside the Lines

On the Border Between Art and Architecture

Design usually comes with rules, stipulations and parameters – budget, space, a color theme, a client’s wish list. It’s a challenge to fall within those lines, but what if they were blurred just a bit? What if you did what something just a little different and designed outside the lines?

AirDD, a leading designer and manufacturer of illuminated inflatable décor, has explored the border between form and function for years. And lately, it’s been working with clients who want to take their design outside the lines, literally.

Using the space that is outside the event’s perimeter, AirDD acts as a curator, arranging specially chosen pieces as environmental sculpture and architectural elements. That can be a bold statement when working with a client who wants to create a purpose with every detail of design and every inch of space at the event and beyond it. Doing so not only adds depth to an event, but the illuminated shapes take on new meaning. Or not. Sometimes a shape is just a shape, a light is just a light. Sometimes, art can simply exist for its own sake.


Consider Chris Burden’s piece, Urban Light (above). It has become an iconic piece for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The vintage street lights, 202 in all, 17 styles total, were collected by Burden over the years and then arranged in a grid with the tallest in the center. It’s become a destination of sight and scale.

Although Burden calls it architecture, “a building with a roof of light,” evocative of classical buildings with multiple colonnades, the piece has no real function such as a building would. Like AirDD’s light gardens, it too exists for the sake of simply honoring the shape of light, and the beauty it creates.

SPOTLIGHT | lighting as sculpture

- Arboretum Gardens event  9-14  em_17
Applying the same artistic vision on a smaller scale, Producer Wendy Anderson of WOW! Events invited AirDD to create illuminated artistic environment for an event at the Los Angeles County Arboretum. Selected chefs were brought in to cook for the guests but because of the location and its natural beauty, Anderson wanted to extend the perimeter. “The intent was to create a lighting walking area that was sculptural and show off the grounds beyond the event,” says Anderson.

50 - Sphere pink Tuterra

Another walking sculpture was created by David Tutera for a wedding at the Palm Grove at Disneyland. At night, when lighted in shades of pinks, the Hi-Light Spheres created a romantic garden of color.


And during the day, they were equally striking in white.

51 - Spheres pool Miami

Similarly, Susan Holland of Susan Holland & Co Event Design used the spheres at the pool area of the Four Seasons in Miami to add the right touch of heat to a Bar Mitzvah celebration.

22A- standing HLs at LA convention
Hard, reflective floors of the Los Angeles Convention Center allowed designer Doron Gazit to get double the effect. Set in an area that directed guests, this Hi-Light “sculpure garden” sent the message of artistic whimsy before guests even entered the event.


Hi-Light Flames in orange and pink were used at the garden level of the Pointe Building in Burbank. The actual event, produced by Laura Lopez, took place at the top floor of the building. Yet, by starting to build the event from the ground up (so to speak) with this artistic element, the planners extended the real estate covered by the event and by extension, its impact.

39- Columns n stars at Observatory_revised

And finally, although the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles is already an icon of design, the large expanse of lawn before it was the perfect place for the planners to make a statement with Hi-Light columns.


The “falling stars” on the ground were a nice way to create a dialog between the stars in the sky and the Observatory on its 75th Anniversary.

All these events are great illustrations of looking beyond the event space itself to extend an event’s message and design objectives, and at the same time, adding a bit of art for art’s sake.


This is a promoted post, written by the editorial team at DesignDawgs


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1 comment on “AirDD: Design Outside the Lines

    LaQuetta Shamblee 11 November, 2014 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    Incredible visual experiences for special events!

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