Note: The two projects, Sky Ear and Burble, have only one thing in common: the use of custom-designed electronics and LED lights inside of balloons. Technically, conceptually and practically, the two projects are otherwise completely different.

The Burble has appeared in various incarnations over its history: Open Burble, Burble London, Burble Dubai, Burble Phish/Mini Burble, Control.Burble.Remote.

Open Burble

The first Burble ever, launched at the open ceremonies of the Singapore Biennale 2006, was known as Open Burble and consisted of a 15 storey structure designed, assembled and controlled by members of the public. The purpose of the project was to explore how people could design and contribute to their urban environment at a massive scale, albeit just for one night.

Read more here: Open Burble.

open burble open burble
open burble open burble
open burble open burble
open burble open burble open burble
Photos from the Singapore Biennale, 2006, by Engkiat Tan and others

Burble London

Burble London came next. In this version, we reformulated the handlebar, made the structure a little larger, and worked with a much larger crowd of people - but the public was not directly involved in the assembly of the structure.

Read more here: Burble London.

Video by Mariko Montpetit

1932 1934 1935 1937
1949 1950 1986 1994

Burble London, Holland Park, 2007 (photos by Wang Wei)

Burble Dubai

We flew Burble at the opening ceremony of the Dubai World Cup 2009 - a larger Burble than ever before, and with a completely redesigned structure based on the multi-monofilament net structure used in Sky Ear. Burble was not interactive in this case, but instead performed a pre-choreographed display that synchronised with the ceremonies.

Phish Burble a.k.a. Mini Burble

In October 2009, we were asked to produce a Burble specially for the band Phish for their annual Phish festival. For cost reasons it was made a little smaller than usual and so became known as "Mini Burble".


Control.Burble.Remote premiered in Barcelona in February 2010 and mixed aspects of Mini-Burble with a new interaction mode using remote controls (any remote control... video remotes, TV remotes, etc.). Remote controls are most familiar to us as instruments of confinement: they require us to adopt strict, home-bound and consumption-oriented relations to our technological devices, appliances and gadgets. They are individualistic, domestic and atomised objects that control us more than we control them. In Control.Burble.Remote, this relationship is turned inside-out. The public becomes the performer of the spectacle and the relationship of people to their remotes and to each other is externalised, communal, and urban.

If you are interested in commissioning a version of Burble for your event, please write to: projects at haque dot co dot uk for details.

November 2013: Please note that Haque Design + Research is now Umbrellium, where more up-to-date information can be found Umbrellium