Playable City Sandbox: Squeeze Me

Squeeze Me uses inflatable soft robotic technology to create a compelling and charming tactile and visual experience. Huge, inflatable and illuminated creatures, wrapped around trees, lamp posts or other street furniture, invite passers-by to hug, squeeze, lean on or poke them. Creatures will respond with shape-change, light and sound and will influence other creatures nearby.

A women squeezing a blue inflatable creature.
Squeeze Me by Air Giants (photo credit Luke O’Donovan)

Squeeze Me is an installation designed to provoke play and connection between strangers in an urban environment, using Air Giants’ novel inflatable soft robotic technology to provide a compelling and charming tactile and visual experience.

It is composed of 5 separate creatures, each one of which is wrapped around a tree in a public park. Each creature is a huge, soft, wriggly, illuminated inflated shape which invites passers-by to hug it, squeeze it, lean on it, poke it.

Creatures will respond with shape-change and light and sound, playing simple games of back-and-forth, and influencing the  other creatures nearby. Groups will form spontaneously to play across multiple creatures, and players will try to recruit strangers to interact with neighbouring creatures. 

Squeeze Me showcase took place 4 – 9 July 2023 at Brandon Hill Park.

The Team

Squeeze me will be created by Air Giants who are a creative robotics studio building inflatable, pneumatically-controlled, wonderful creatures. Air Giants are first in the world making interactive soft robotics at this scale, and the only creative studio making them for showing in public spaces.