Tiago Barros Designs a Passing Cloud that Lets You Float Through the Sky

by , 10/18/11
filed under: Manhattan,Transportation

tiago barros, passing cloud, green transportation, green transportation nyc, sky transportation, clouds, floating clouds, cloud design nyc, manhattan, zeppelins, eco design, green design, eco design nyc, green design nyc, clean transportation, clean air

Passing Cloud is, in fact, not a cloud at all. It is a series of heavy duty balloons held together in the shape of a cloud, reminiscent of the old Zeppelins. The balloons are surrounded by a stainless steel structure covered in tensile nylon fabric. The fabric is incredibly strong and flexible, moving with the wind and capturing the biggest gusts to power movement and protect passengers from blowing away.

Those who are looking to ride the Passing Cloud better not have a schedule in mind. The idea of this mode of transportation is focused on the journey and experience of floating along the sky like a cloud. Passengers board the structure by ladder and simply sit upon the surface for the entirety of the ride. There is no destination, no schedule, no speed to adhere by. The wind determines both where the cloud goes and exactly how fast.

One thing that is for certain, is that the Passing Cloud is incredibly easy on the environment. It emits no exhaust, produces no waste, and uses very little energy to function. By simply floating through the air, the vehicle becomes a part of nature and its courses.

This design is certainly an eye catcher, but it was even more surprising to its initial viewers. Tiago Barros submitted the Passing Cloud plan to the Van Alen Institute and the Department of Cultural Affairs of New York for their international “Life at the Speed of Rail” competition. Expecting to see only designs of high speed rail networks, this floating oasis was a jaw dropper. Though the design did not win the competition, it must have at least been a breath of fresh air.

+ Tiago Barros

via Dezeen



  1. superconcepts May 10, 2014 at 2:46 am
    Make it transparent and we'll talk!
  2. Terry Chamberlain February 11, 2014 at 11:07 pm
  3. Bruce Allen Williams December 3, 2013 at 7:57 am
    Lot of safety regulations and insurance liability in this concept. If hydrogen is the main component, well we do have potential for a Hindenburg type situation. Not good at all.
  4. Mark Redetzke August 6, 2013 at 11:29 am
    Some one mentioned hydrogen. No thanks - a fiery death on a burning marshmallow in the sky doesn't sound to appealing, or green, to me.
  5. Nilo Gima December 12, 2012 at 10:00 pm
  6. OC Heaton January 12, 2012 at 5:03 am
    What a great idea. Looks beautiful too. But a valid form of transport. I think not. Good for tourists perhaps but maybe not in gale torn UK at the moment.
  7. Don Piccard December 30, 2011 at 8:47 pm
    That is a beautiful concept. Jones and Piccard have cirumnavigated the globe with a single balloon. www.mesAsphere.com proposes a cluster of hydrogen balloons to actually leave the atmosphere to be the first to dwell in the mesosphere! All it needs is a titlle sponsor.
  8. grimmer October 20, 2011 at 6:33 pm
    What if you have to piss?
  9. greenspan October 20, 2011 at 6:08 pm
    Can I just live up there? Set up wireless and do all my work from an iPad I won from Inhabitat...eat apples..
  10. Zeppflyer October 20, 2011 at 3:57 pm
    Huh? This isn't a serious proposal, is it? This is not a mode of transportation in any sense. It is, if it ever flew, no different than a normal balloon, except more dangerous and less controllable. So, I don't see any method of compensating for heat and pressure variations on this thing, nor is there any sort of ballast that I can make out. How is it controlled? Where is the pilot? Would you really want to be caught on top of something like this in a storm? I... Wow...
  11. SoCal Writer October 20, 2011 at 3:55 pm
    This is a wonderful idea but doesn't make sense for metro area a airspace. If ever launched, it's best suited as a tourist attraction in scenic rural areas. Even then, it would have to hav be cost competitive with hot air balloon rides.
  12. Awokologaede October 20, 2011 at 1:19 am
    I am interestedin the economics and viability of this worthy concept.