Humans of FoldHaus is a series celebrating the many, many amazing volunteers (like Peter) who work tirelessly on their evenings and weekends to bring to life the FoldHaus Collective Art. Below is Peter’s story.
But first, a brief note:
The FoldHaus team, the art collective behind Burning Man (and Smithsonian!) favorites #ShrumenLumen and #BlumenLumen, are building our most radical installation ever, and we need your help.
A project of this scale is only possible with the support of a large community. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support RadiaLumia.
How did you get involved in FoldHaus? Why?
“Annette was leading a project I was working on, and I loved working with her. When FoldHaus started, I knew she was involved and wanted to work with her again. Plus, [RadiaLumia] is an incredibly cool thing to get to work on.”
Burning man is supposedly life changing. Has it changed your life?
“This is the first time I’m involved with Burning Man. It’s changed my view of the event. To me, it was always this big party out in the desert. To find out there’s a group of people who go expressly for the art — that art is a big part of why people go to begin with — I had no idea. I’m planning to go — I want help install RadiaLumia on the Playa.”
Community is a big part of FoldHaus. What’s your experience been?
“Working with this group of people feels like hanging out. We just tend to hang out in a way that produces cool things. It feels like joining a group of friends first, and it happens to be a group of friends who build things for Burning Man.”
What’s been one of the happiest moments of FoldHaus?
“At the kick-off meeting was in February, there was this really cool moment… a bunch of people had just met. We’d only known about the project for a half hour, and we were already troubleshooting light placement. We tested how the light travels up and down as the umbrella moves. At the end of the day we got to see this really cool light show for one origami. We could just imagine the impact with the other 41 in place. And, that was just day one.”
Do you consider yourself an artist?
“Yes. My background is in illustration. I program [for work], but I see programming as a means to an end. I make things. I happen to do that by programming.”
What’s your contribution to FoldHaus?
“I’m part of a team working on the software that interfaces with the structure and lighting a lot of the interaction patterns we’re developing. We’re building on LX studio, which is written by Mark Slee and allows you to have a great amount of artistic control over light patterns. We’re retrofitting it for our structure. We want RadiaLumia to be a living thing, so we’re designing how people can interact and how it responds.”
What do you get out of being part of FoldHaus?
“At IDEO I work very much in the purely digital world. I program things that live on a computer. Here, I’m building a thing that people can interact with and that will live in the world and do something on its own. It’s a nice change of pace.”
By day, when you’re not part of FoldHaus, who are you?
“I’m a game designer and software designer on IDEO’s Design for Play team. It’s part of the Toy Lab, which has expertise in designing toys. Design for Play feeds into IDEO’s consulting work. We have expertise in how you increase engagement and facilitate learning, and an understanding of complex systems [editor’s note: which is beneficial across a lot of different industries!]. I program and do 3D art for games for that team.”
Thank you for reading!
If you’re curious to learn more about how we make our art happen, read about how we make the impossible possible on the IDEO blog. And, to hear more about what we’re up to, follow us on @foldhauscollective on Instagram.