Biodegradable Balloon Sends Poetic Messages to Recipients by Air

‘Smart’ technologies used to create a more abstract experience

We’ve all heard of a message in a bottle, but what about a message in a biodegradable balloon? Attachment is a work in progress by David Colombini that offers people “a poetic way to communicate.” Anyone can participate via the website, which allows you to send messages, images, or videos that might find their way into an unexacting stranger’s hands – or fall off the face of the Earth.

To take part in the project, you first have to hand over your name and email address. Then you can enter your message (along with an image or video) which will be printed on a piece of A6 paper by the poetic machine located in Renens, Switzerland. Finally, your message is placed inside a biopolymer cylinder and attached to a balloon before being released.


One of the project’s main aims was to take a stand against the current use of “smart” technologies by creating something more abstract and poetic. Instead of using instant communication for its original purpose, Colombini has created a way for people to rediscover expectation, the random, and the unexpected. He also points out an unexpected source of motivation on the project website:

For the record, I have always been attracted by what is in the air and remember having won a balloon release contest when I was about ten years old. My balloon flew from Switzerland to Austria, this definitely left an impression on me and perhaps influenced the idea of this project.

As the machine will be installed outside, Colombini is also planning to work with Ader (Association for the Development of Renewable Energies in Lausanne) to power the machine with solar energy. Then he wants to make the cylinders lighter, and identify a biodegradable material they can be made from.

If you love the idea of a message in a bottle, then now would be the time to head over to the Attachment website and create a message of your own. Should someone find it, they can even enter the code and reply to your message via email!

David Colombini

[h/t] Creative Applications

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