'Octopus Pavilion' is a design project by Beijing-based architects Max Gethel and Jordan Kanter that rejuvenates a previously decrepit square. The covering consists of a series of interconnected canvas balloons that inflate and deflate, as well as light up with colored LEDs during the evenings.
Located in the Baitasi hutong area of Beijing, the square that hosts Octopus Pavilion was previously little more than a site for neighborhood residents to wantonly toss their trash. By adding the canvas covering and some simple seating elements, the plaza is now a social space that encourages connections between the locals.
The canvas balloons that make up Octopus Pavilion inflate and deflate to mimic the movements of octopi. The fans that inflate the balloons are motion-activated, causing the covering to react to the people in the square.