Exxopolis >> A Luminarium

Happy Wednesday! Today I thought I'd share a few pictures from something that is kind of hard to describe. One of my favorite summer things to do is to visit the Minnesota State Fair, which is always in late August/early September and ends on Labor Day. We made the usual rounds this year, but one thing that I had never seen or even heard of was this thing called Exxopolis.

My sister had seen a picture on Facebook and insisted we go. I was only half listening as she said something about colors and light, but she said she'd buy my ticket and that we were going. I didn't get a pic from the outside, but you can see it set up somewhere else above. Essentially it looks like a bouncy house for kids (which I would have been pretty stoked for, too!). But, as the guide firmly pointed out before we entered, NO BOUNCING.

You take off your shoes, and once you enter, it's pretty amazing and like nothing I've ever seen before.
It's basically tubes and "rooms" made of this really soft, plastic-y material of all different colors (actually, I just learned from their website that all of the colors are created from just four colors of plastic. Nuts!). It's zipped into all these crazy shapes, and then the sun shines through the outside of the plastic walls and it lights up into all of these dreamy colors. The whole thing is inflated with air to stand upright. The structures are described as interactive sculptures by the creators, Architects of Air, who describe them this way: "Each luminarium is a dazzling maze of winding paths and soaring domes where Islamic architecture, Archimedean solids and Gothic cathedrals meld into an inspiring monument to the beauty of light and colour."

The picture just above was of the "tree," which was an intricate system of branches and holes in the middle. It sort of looked like something from Avatar (which I hated, but did look pretty cool).
These last ones were of the Cupola, a room which featured stained glass-like Penrose tiling in the windows, and this crazy ceiling. Even though is was about a billion degrees out and humid the day we went, and there were tons of people inside this thing, it was still awesome. It would be a completely crazy awesome experience if you could have this thing to yourself, or at least just a few tranquil people. It was so calm and peaceful, I can imagine it would be pretty much the best place ever to meditate, get a massage, do some yoga, or just to drift away in.

Apparently the company that makes these has several, and they tour them around the world. Has anyone else ever been in one of these? If you ever see one, definitely go in! Now that I think about it, it sort of was like going to the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit that I went to last month, but if you could actually go inside the glass sculptures. Trippy!

shanti >> sondra



  1. Great pictures! They show of the quality of the light really well!

    I was at Sziget festival in Budapest (Hungary) and they have a luminarium there almost every year. This year was the first time I went inside, the enormous lines scared me off before. This year we arrived a day early and there wasn't any line, so we grabbed the chance and we weren't disappoined! Like you said: amazing.

    So pretty and so serene. The festival is pretty loud but once you went inside you were in a completely different world.

    I saw on their website they have several different ones touring Europe so I will keep an eye out for their next stop in Holland. The one you were in looks even better because of the stained glass and the intricate tree!

  2. Thiiiiiis is wicked sweet... awesome!

  3. OH MY GOSH!!! I DESPERATELY WANT TO GO IN ONE OF THOSE! <3 So, so pretty. Sounds like you had a fab time!

  4. Alissa Matara9/5/13, 1:46 PM

    It was really cool! I hope they have a different one next year! :-)