Last year, we told you about the party pavilion designed by students at SCI-Arc for the Coachella Music Festival. This year, Crimson Collective – a Los Angeles-based consortium of creative artists, architects, and designers – have unveiled their project “Ascension”, based on the Japanese legend of a Thousand Cranes (or Zenbazuru) for the inauguration of the 2010 Coachella Music and Arts Festival, April 16th through April 18th.
Universally accepted as a symbol of grace, wisdom, peace, and prosperity, Ascension is a 150-ft wide, 45-ft giant white origami crane crafted from soaring planes of white fabric and a modular aluminum and tension wire skeleton. Physically, the giant creature will serve as a living art installation; a beacon, a shelter, and a destination for visitors. Metaphorically, the giant crane carries a universal message of peace meant to be for and from the over 100,000 attendees at the annual 3-day music festival.
More images, a video and description after the break.
“The crane has long been embraced as the symbol of peace and prosperity,” explains Crimson Collective Founder and Lead Designer, Behn Samareh. “Inspired by the ancient art of origami, Ascension depicts a crane at its first moments of flight. It is intended as an inspiration of thought and action. And it stands as a symbol of hope and a prelude to ascension through awareness and understanding.”
The sculpture is constructed based on the principle of tensegrity, or tensional integrity, meaning that the structure is based on a balance between tension and compression components. White shade fabric forms great soaring planes that are reminiscent of the folds paper in an origami crane. The aluminum structure is modular, making the crane a temporary but completely mobile structure that can be “ascend” from almost any flat site. The 100+ components and over 7000 sf of 80% mesh texilene sunshade material that make up the crane can be dismantled and shipped in one 40 ft shipping container to a new site anywhere around the globe.
Around the crane will be two raised solar collection stations that harness the power of the sun throughout the relentless daylight hours. These cells will in turn power the crane’s tranquil mood lighting system at night, making the crane completely energy independent and self-sufficient. At the center of the crane is an exhibition or showcase space where innovative and uplifting ideas that are beneficial to humanity can be shared. During this initial flight, the crane will house a fuel cell demonstration, which illustrates the concept of creating energy spontaneously, rather than making it by extracting it from the Earth.
Symbolically, visitors will become part of the living art installation. Ascension will stand, in a sense, as the sum of its parts or a giant manifestation of collective intention. Thousands of visitors will pass below the structure and seek shelter under the crane’s giant wings, like thousands of origami cranes. The experience, like the string in a zenbazuru will connect each visitor to the next.
Following the Coachella Music and Arts Festival, Ascension will remain on view at the Fairgrounds through the Stage Coach Festival that occurs April 24 th through April 25 th.
“We would like to think that this is just the first chapter of our story,” adds Samareh. “Our goal with Ascension is to inspire and evoke action. From Coachella, our hope is that the Crane will literally take flight and travel the globe, continuing to spread its message far beyond LA. We’d like to think that our monolithic crane might have the power to continue around the planet, connecting people like thousands of separate, but inexorably connected, cranes. If a thousand cranes can cause the universe to grant one wish, imagine what millions could do.”