Inside the Dragon: A First Encounter with Arboria

I was wandering around the California Poppy Festival when I saw signs for “Arboria” posted in front of what looked like an inflatable, bouncy house village.

Outside view of Arboria

Having never seen or heard of Arboria before, I was definitely intrigued. I soon discovered Arboria is an interactive art installation built by Architects of Air and referred to as a luminarium.

I love light and color, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to experience Arboria – and an experience it was!

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Immediately upon entering I felt as though I’d been transported to another world. The theme of the installation was, appropriately, “trees,” and the layout lent itself to a somewhat circular path around and through.

Because it was such a warm day, I was worried it would be stifling hot inside the Arboria but it was surprisingly well ventilated. The blue and green sections felt noticeably cooler than the red, though I’m not sure if that was by design or simply my imagination.

There was plenty of room for a person of average height to walk through without having to hunch over and there were various nooks here and there where two or three adults could easily sit cross legged, side by side.

The intense jewel colors reminded me of the stained glass cathedrals of Europe and the United Kingdom. The contrasting colors in the nooks were decidedly dragon’s eyes. It was easy to feel as though I had happened upon an enchanted forest and had come nose to nose with its mythical inhabitants.

As I exited the Arboria, I felt as though I’d just returned from an exciting yet dreamy adventure in a faraway land.

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