Shrumen Lumen

A garden of five origami mushrooms with caps that expand and contract from a flat umbrella portobello to a bulbous cap when visitors activate them, creating a surprising and delightful experience.

Each mushroom is made of 18 sheets of corrugated plastic, a total of 83 square meters, hand-folded and carefully welded together. A solid mechanical structure made of aluminum and steel defines the shape of the mushroom head. An umbrella-like mechanism powered by an industrial actuator causes the cap to change shape. Pressure pads, located at the base of the mushroom, activate the movement, and at night, over 1,600 LED lights create a spectacle for those near and far. Nearly every one of the hundreds of parts for each mushroom were custom made by the FoldHaus team.

Shrumen Lumen premiered at Burning Man 2016, and is currently on view at The Smithsonian American Art Museum. 

Thank you to our supporters

Shrumen Lumen was made possible by the work and contributions of many. In particular, we'd like to thank Burning Man Arts and IDEO for their generous support.

Currently on exhibit

Shrumen Lumen is on exhibit for No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. Available for public viewing March 30, 2018 – January 21, 2019. 

[See more about the exhibition]

Past Exhibitions

  • Dubai Design District (D3), 2017

  • Burning Man, 2016

shrumen-vector.png
 

From Paper to Playa

  [1] Paper Prototype   This folding pattern, sometimes called the "Magic Ball" has the interesting property of transforming from a cylinder to a sphere. Folding it, even with pre-scored paper, can take several hours. 

[1] Paper Prototype

This folding pattern, sometimes called the "Magic Ball" has the interesting property of transforming from a cylinder to a sphere. Folding it, even with pre-scored paper, can take several hours. 

[2] Full Size Prototype

To create a full-scale mushroom cap, 18 individual sheets of corrugated plastic were hand-folded and welded together. The folding of this 83 square meter fold pattern required more than a dozen team members to push and pull the material.

[3] Motor Actuation

Once the metal structure was integrated into the mushroom cap, the built-in motor showed the full range of motion, and change of shape in the Shrumen's head.

  [4] Engineering   Each mushroom cap contains a complex mechanism that connects the plastic shell with the internal steel structure. Creating these parts required specialized expertise, and many hours of custom fabrication.

[4] Engineering

Each mushroom cap contains a complex mechanism that connects the plastic shell with the internal steel structure. Creating these parts required specialized expertise, and many hours of custom fabrication.

  [5] Interaction Design   In addition to soldiering hundreds of LED strips and programming light patterns for the Shrumens, the Interaction Design team developed pressure pads that people could step on to activate the mushrooms to change shape.

[5] Interaction Design

In addition to soldiering hundreds of LED strips and programming light patterns for the Shrumens, the Interaction Design team developed pressure pads that people could step on to activate the mushrooms to change shape.

  [6] Mass Production   Hundreds of individual parts needed to be hand-made to complete each Shrumen sculpture, requiring many volunteers' contributions.

[6] Mass Production

Hundreds of individual parts needed to be hand-made to complete each Shrumen sculpture, requiring many volunteers' contributions.

[7] Set Up on the Playa (video by Lauren Fundora)

The set up in the desert required heavy machinery including trenchers, augers, cranes, scissor lifts, and a lot of sweat.

GALLERY

  Photograph by Rene Smith

Photograph by Rene Smith

Shrumen Lumen During the day

Shrumen Lumen at night