Every year, thousands of enthusiasts flock to the Black Rock Desert to part-take in the culturally rich event known as 'Burning Man'. The focus of this event is 'Radical Self-Expression', evidenced by fantastical works of art placed around the main festival area dubbed the 'Playa'.
During the 2014 Burning Man festival, a magnificent structure of mechanical flowers were on display for people to gather around and enjoy its brilliance. Responsive to its surroundings, each flower would open, close, and emit a bright array of lights depending on its environment.
'It occurred to us that bringing flowers out there would bring a little bit of life, beauty, and love to the desert, which is a big part of what people are looking for at Burning Man.' - George Student
FoldHaus, the team of engineers and designers who are responsible for this majestic design, were inspired by their past works of art, which also incorporated a folded design. The structure, made with sheets of corrugated polypropylene, had proven in past experiments to be lightweight, and durable.
Standing nearly 20ft tall, the flowers had to be as strong as they were beautiful. When buffeted with up to 60mp/h winds the folded structure of the flower buds held up impressively. The arid climate of the desert did not interfere with any of the mechanical workings of the masterpiece, and the linear actuators supplied by Firgelli Automations were not compromised by the wind or heat of the extreme environment.
In order to achieve the smooth and dramatic opening and closing of the flower buds, the Firgelli Automations Sleek Rod-Style Actuator was implemented, allowing the petals to be extended, and held in place without using any additional power.
Blumen Lumen Burning Man 2014 Time-lapse from Beau Trincia on Vimeo.
As night fell upon the festival, a brilliant array of bright colors were emitted from the flowers attracting hundreds of people to bask in their mechanical glory.
For more information on Foldhaus, and their stunning project, visit https://www.foldhaus.com/blumen-lumen