Why FlyingFlags New York?

In the context of the negative media coverage of Switzerland in the United States, it is valuable to remember that the average citizens of these two countries are not particularly interested in the intrigues and machinations of the big international banks. FlyingFlags New York emphasizes the positive characteristics shared by Switzerland and the United States of America, and it is a well-timed reminder of the ties of friendship that bind these two countries together

The Concept of FlyingFlags New York

The envisaged location of our Project in the newly established Brooklyn Bridge Park, in the area known as Dumbo or “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass” (D.U.M.B.O.), is the ideal location for our FlyingFlags. In this place, the flag of the host nation, the United States of America, meets the flag of the visitors, Switzerland. As these two nations’ flags share the colors red and white, they are able to merge seamlessly with each other for a shared moment in time. This temporary union creates a kind of magical flying carpet, floating above the Brooklyn Bridge Park. Pedestrians and visitors wandering through the park can and are encouraged to walk around underneath the flying carpet, enjoying the unusual new perspectives and basking in the beams of sunlight, as the sun shines through and illuminates the colorful balloons. The softly rounded balloons, gently moving in the breeze, stand in stark contrast to the glass-fronted, sharp-edged skyscrapers of Manhattan and Brooklyn.



My strong sense of connection to New York is frequently bringing me back to the Big Apple. In fact, my first art works originated during an extended stay in New York in 1987/1988. It marked a significant increase in my creativity and artistic ambitions, and led to the development of my passion for large-scale art installations in particular. In the 30 years since then, much has happened, and much has changed, not only globally but also within myself as an artist.

Safety & Security

We take safety very seriously. Each balloon is anchored on at least three different points. The plastic-covered wire-rope is firmly attached to the foundation. At least two security officers will guard the display around the clock, both during the construction phase as well as during the 14 days of the display. Experience has taught us that these balloon displays attract large numbers of people – unfortunately, they also attract people who want to damage or destroy the balloons. It is thus important to prepare a comprehensive safety and security plan.

Technical Aspects

As was the case with the other three balloon projects that we have realized in various other countries around the world, we use balloons made of synthetic rubber, with a diameter of 3 meters (9 feet). The balloons are fully inflated with helium gas, which poses no danger to people or the environment. At their lowest point, the balloons are floating 3 meters above the ground, and at their highest point, about 24 meters above ground level. The individual balloons are anchored to a pedestal by means of thin plastic-covered wire-ropes. They are also connected to each other, with each balloon on the edge of the FlyingFlags linked to three adjacent balloons, and each balloon in the middle linked to four adjacent balloons. In addition, a safety rope running through the tops of all the balloons ties them all to each other.

Media & Marketing

The Project will receive extensive coverage in both local and international media. The relevant information will be disseminated by the artist among the various media channels in order to obtain the biggest possible coverage – which will also please our sponsors. We will post regular updates with regard to the FlyingFlags project and its realization via social media (Website, Twitter, Facebook, etc).


As this unusual project will be quite expensive, we are intending to finance it by attracting local sponsors and Swiss and American businesses, as well as using internet-based crowd-funding. We will also request a substantial contribution from the Schweizerische Kulturförderung. In addition, we will apply for in-kind sponsorships of equipment, as well as of transport, board and lodging.

Current and Past Partners 



Personally, I find Philipp's balloon project finely attuned to the spirit of New York's Downtown. It is buoyant, energetic, and optimistic. It defies gravity as do the great East River bridges. Just as they are, it can succeed only when its design integrates talented artistry and skillful engineering. New Yorkers have enjoyed many interesting projects visiting this area. This one could be another welcome guest.

Dr. Bojidar S. Yanev

Executive Director, Bureau of Bridges, New York City Dot
Philipp Krebs creates flying walls or sculptures out of giant balloons. That's one way to put it. A more appropriate way to say it is: He’s an artist. And his work is poetry, flying poetry.

Mark van Huisseling, based in Zurich

Journalist, editor, novelist
Excellent project, brilliant engineering

Hansruedi Meier

I had the distinct privilege to work as lead photographer with Philipp Krebs and his multi-talented team on a large scale environmental art project which was to be installed across the length of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1994? His vision brought the best aspects of art, design and engineering into a cohesive, striking installation. We worked directly with officials from the NYC Dept of Transportation for a period of two years, and Philipp was widely respected by all those who were involved. Not only did he capably handle the many curves thrown at him throughout the project’s life, he also provided excellent direction and personal concern for all those who were there to help him implement it. We have remained good friends since then and I look forward to working with him in the future.

Michael A. Smith