The Festival des Architectures Vives is an annual program that seeks to initiate a reflection on architecture and its development within an existing urban context. Highlighting the projects of young architects and urban planners through two urban tours, visitors can discover contemporary works in unique sites — sometimes completely unknown by even local people. Taking place across the French city of Montpellier, courtyards of private hotels typically restricted to the public open their doors during the festival to host media art installations, exhibitions, and events.
Inside one of these hidden courtyards, a creative team from France comprising Mickaël Martins Afonso and Caroline Escaffre-Faure have created a quiet refuge away from city life. For the 2016 edition of the Festival des Architectures Vives, the duo have installed ‘Head in the clouds’ — a sequence of billowing orbs that float throughout the vast space. As visitors enter, the large objects seem to hover in mid-air above our heads, evoking an atmosphere reminiscent of whimsical daydreaming.
As a way to isolate from the chaos of the city surrounding, visitors are invited to place their heads within open areas of the oversized white puffs, reflecting on the dark and private space around them. Chairs and benches located around the courtyard and under the clouds provide a place of rest and relaxation for guests, exhibition visitors, and curious passersby.
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