We are FoldHaus. We build experiences that are both poetic and robotic. Our art balances technology and nature, using engineering and design to bring origami to life and bring community together.
FoldHaus is an art collective based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Currently led by Joerg Student and Jesse Silver, FoldHaus creates interactive experiences at the intersection of art, engineering, and technology that bring people together. Many of its members work at, or used to work at, the design firm IDEO, where members spend weekends and evenings building and creating art.
Each art piece is based on extensive experimentation with different fold patterns to create the desired shape and movement, as well as multiple prototypes to develop the supporting structures and digital interaction.
FoldHaus designed and built its first piece, a yurt, for Burning Man in 2010. In 2014, it created Blumen Lumen, an installation of ten large origami flowers that bloom and close. Shrumen Lumen followed in 2016, with five interactive origami mushrooms. The group is now building a new art piece for Burning Man 2018, RadiaLumia, a nod to the intricate mineral skeletons of radiolaria, a protozoa that covered Black Rock desert when it was still part of the ocean floor.
Create Community – We create experiences for people to make art and enjoy art, together.
Fold to Build – We pair folding patterns with different materials to create one-of-a-kind, three-dimensional shapes and structures.
Nature Inspired – We draw inspiration from the natural world and find joy in bringing nature to unexpected places.
Invite Interaction – We design pieces that come alive by responding to and interacting with people.
Engineering at the core – We use advanced and custom manufacturing techniques to bring our pieces to life.
Every FoldHaus project is a true team effort. A large group of up to forty volunteers contributes to the time-intensive build process. For everyone involved, this is a labor of love – all FoldHaus members have full-time jobs elsewhere, as engineers, designers, artists, writers, non-profit leaders, marketers, and product managers.
Our projects would not be possible without the generous support of several organizations and many individuals: Many thanks to the Black Rock Arts Foundation/Burning Man Arts program for their continued support of our installations. Thank you to IDEO for granting us permission to use their shop, tools, and collective expertise throughout the project. And thank you to all the many supporters of our Kickstarter campaigns.
For questions, inquiries, or high resolution images, send a note to: email@example.com