ARCHITECTS OF AIR: DAEDALUM Arrives In The Backyard At 8th & Penn, July 1 – September 4

A breathtaking world of radiant light and vibrant colors, a mesmerizing labyrinth of winding paths and majestic domes, an extraordinary summer-long spectacle.

By: Jun. 07, 2023
ARCHITECTS OF AIR: DAEDALUM Arrives In The Backyard At 8th & Penn, July 1 – September 4

Prepare to be completely immersed in a multi-sensory light, color, and sound experience as Architects of Air: Daedalum takes over Pittsburgh's Cultural District this summer. This monumental, inflatable, walk-in sculpture known as a “luminarium,” half the size of a football field, transports guests into another world. Cavernous domes, enchanting tunnels, and captivating pods beckon guests of all ages to explore this artistic phenomenon.


Since 1992 more than three million visitors in over 40 countries across five continents have been welcomed into Architects of Air's monumental luminaria, immersed in radiant color created by daylight shining through each luminarium's fabric. This summer, Daedalum, one of several touring luminaria created by Architects of Air's founder, designer, and artistic director Alan Parkinson, will welcome thousands of visitors—regional residents and out-of-town visitors alike.


Daedalum, the luminarium coming to Pittsburgh, takes its name from Daedalus. In Greek mythology he was the father of Icarus and the architect of the labyrinth of King Minos of Crete. Daedalum's core element is a maze of 19 egg-shaped domes whose spatial arrangement creates mysterious sightlines. Daedalum's Tree is an adventurous assembly of intersecting volumes rising above the visitor with inspiring complexity. The Main Dome features an innovative indirect illumination that varies the color inside according to the dome's position and the sun's direction. The 600-piece pattern of the Main Dome ceiling was inspired by Rome's Pantheon and the Gustave Doré drawing of angels circling heavenward in Dante's paradise.


“What motivates me to design is the fact that I continue to be struck by the beauty of light and color found in the luminaria. These structures nurture an awareness of a pure phenomenon that gently cuts through everyday conditioned perceptions and awakens a sense of wonder in people,” said Parkinson regarding his intention as an “Architect of Air.”


“We are thrilled to welcome Architects of Air to Pittsburgh for the first time in nearly a decade. This dazzling experience will make guests feel like they're living inside a painting, walking through a stained-glass window, or being transported to another world,” said Scott Shiller, Senior Vice President of Artistic Planning and Venues for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. “We thank the Giant Eagle Foundation for their integral support of the Backyard at 8th & Penn, which will also host a beer garden , patio furniture, and more so guests can enjoy hours of fun before and after their visit to Daedalum.”


The luminarium offers 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 color, and where guests can happily lose themselves. The installation awakens the senses, creating a feeling of wonder and enchantment for all ages. Guests are transported into an amazing world of light and subtle and saturated hues for a unique sensory experience. It is a paradox that such a stimulating environment can simultaneously be calming and comforting. Many guests will find the luminarium to be a place for rest or meditation.


Tickets go on sale this Friday, June 9 at 10 am at, 412-456-6666, and Groups 10+ 412-471-6930. Presale access is available now for Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Members and social media followers (promo code published on channels, @CulturalTrust). Tickets start at $20 for adults and $10 for children.



The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh's most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts-lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country's largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation, and creativity.  Using the arts as an economic catalyst, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy, and enhancing Pittsburgh's quality of life. Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts.

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