Pandemic Architecture, an International Ideas Competition curated by the Design Ambassador for,  invited the creative community to open up a dialogue and create a think tank, looking for ideas from the architectural and design community about the future of the living, the workspace, the public space and the tourism industry after the outbreak of Covid-19.

Floating Bird was longlisted in top 100 out of 440 projects.

-text by the authors

Faced with an ‘invisible’ enemy to which we have no means or weapons to neutralize, we revert back to our shells. With social distancing being our only hope of winning, we find our world shrink to the exact physical space that is our cell. As we ‘shelter-in-place’, worried about our mental, physical and economic wellbeing, we ‘exit the cage’ by unlocking our minds and dreams.

In cases as such, we find that a common dream resurfaces from our subconscious; a dream of FLYING.

From Da Vinci’s ‘Flying Machine’, to drones and planes, man has always tried to use technology to reproduce an innate aspect of nature which allows us to cross distance and provides us with an aerial view of our environment and our lives. The marriage of man-made technology/design with the elements of nature has literally allowed us to ‘reach for the clouds’.

The COVID-19 pandemic presents a challenge, an opportunity and a lesson. A challenge to stop the spread, find treatment and vaccine so life can revert back to ‘normal’. An opportunity to prepare for the next challenge, be it in the form of another pandemic or the, all too assured, global warming. And a lesson to respect nature.

An encompassing challenge requires an encompassing solution, so would the union of nature and technology be the solution to our current and possible future challenges?

Extrapolating from nature, one vector of my design is sourced from the element of clouds; a phenomenon that domes our environment, allowing for large area coverage, providing shelter from heat, and nurturing the land below with rain. Another vector is sourced from the ‘flying’ technology. The merging of both fashioned my model of the “FLOATING BIRD”.

The approach of the design of the model is anchored in the use of simple geometric forms to serve as the building blocks of the Bird. Those components are assembled interdependently to address the anatomy and functions of the structure. The structure is divided into three different segments, the mechanical unit, the energy unit, and the electromagnetic unit. An illustrative example for creating clouds would function as thus; the mechanical unit controls movement sending the Bird to its desired location, the energy unit will create the droplets that make up the cloud, and the electromagnetic unit will stimulates the cloud into action.

The distinctive advantage of the Floating Bird lies in the flexibility of its multifunctionality.

As it roams the skies above us, it can be used to cater to the specific needs of the moment or the environment it covers. Its technology can be used to heat clouds and initiate rain in times of drought. It can be used to deliver pesticides or insecticides in times of locusts or similar outbreaks. It can be used to drop water to control the more frequently occurring wild fires. And, extrapolating from the needs of the moment, it can be used to aerially deliver viruses to build herd immunity – when and where that is judged as the right solution to the specific population and needs of the area. Simply put, the breadth of functionality of the “Flying Bird’ is limited only by our creativity.

Facts & Credits
Participant  Chloe William Abi Antoun
Country  Lebanon

The project was longlisted in top 100 out of 440 projects.

The impact of Pandemic Architecture competition on the international architectural community was astonishing, with the number of registrations to exceed 800, with the final proposals to exceed 400 and with participants from more than 60 different countries.
Results will be officially announced on the 25th of September.


Check out the open call and the jury here!