Octopus Pavilion is LIVE by Ben Lepley

After over two months of work, and so much help from Nicholas, Amanda, the crew at K1ND, Yanglei, Sheng Qiang, and his students at Beijing Jiaotong University, and of course Bea, Evelyn and the rest of the team at Beijing Design Week, the Octopus Pavilion has finally come fully to life! Opening party on September 24th was a big hit. Thanks all for the incredible work, perseverance, and support from everyone involved!!

On Site by Ben Lepley

The fabric officially moved onto site this afternoon. One team remains in the studio working on the assembly, while a second team has moved to the site to start installing the fabric cells. Things are moving fast now, though sadly we won’t get the canopy finished before Nicholas leaves tomorrow morning. He will be there in spirit for sure when it finally lifts off the ground and comes to life. Nicholas thanks so much for all your hard work, this project would never have been possible without you!


Final Prototypes + Tests by Ben Lepley


Testing the final fan characteristics, pillow shape and size, pillow connection details, LED’s. Pillows and electronics have been sent off for fabrication. We should receive these components by Monday and/or Tuesday. Sadly we were not able to find a suitable fan that could be run in both directions, so we will only have inflation (with at 12v 1a fan), unless we can find a reasonable way to rig up two fans in the pillow. Tests so far indicate that two fans is too much weight.

Structure elements are purchased and on site. Still need to figure out the carriage design. Will start using the controller prototype to start testing the software this weekend. Final installation fast approaching!

by Ben Lepley

Soft City / Octopus Pavilion


The Soft City Platform will be part of the 2016 Beijing Design Week in the historic Baitasi (White Stupa Temple) neighborhood of Beijing. The platform will include the installation of the octopus pavilion, an inflatable structure incorporated into an existing Hutong courtyard. This pavilion will host a series of events, including the Soft City forum, with interdisciplinary panels discussing how the increasing integration of technology, ecology, economies, and politics are changing the way we think about and design in and through the city.