Gallery: Coachella’s Giant Origami Solar-Powered Crane Installation


You know what this year’s Coachella music festival could really use- a giant origami crane at the entrance. Oh wait! They already have one, and it’s lit up with LEDs and powered by a solar system. Built by LA-based Crimson Collective, the sculpture, called Ascension, was inspired by the Japanese tradition of folding a thousand crane in order to receive a wish.  We spotted this LED awesomeness on The Architect’s Newspaper and we couldn’t be more excited about the idea. As thousands of fans enter the festival they will pass under its welcoming wings, and be part of the collective intention of the crane.

Ascension is a 45 foot tall living art installation made out of modular aluminum tubes and covered with a white mesh fabric called Textilene. The bird weighs 35,000 pounds with a wingspan of 150 feet. All of the parts for the bird fit inside one shipping container and was transported to the festival in Indio, CA in the Palm Springs desert. At night the bird is lit up with multi-colored LED lights and is powered by two photovoltaic systems that sit nearby and double as a canopy and benches.

Crimson Collective, led by Behn Samareh, is a group of artists, architects and designers working to use design for a positive social change as well as bridge the gap between art and architecture. Ascension is one of many art installations at the three day music festival and will be the first thing fans see when they enter. The giant creature is a living art installation, a beacon, shelter, destination, as well as a universal message of peace and a “symbol of hope and a prelude to ascension through understanding and awareness.” If you’re going to the festival and see the crane or any other sustainable design goodness, let us know!

+ Crimson Collective

+ Coachella Music Festival

Via The Architect’s Newspaper Blog

photo credits: Courtesy Crimson Collective/ Michelle Cassel


or your inhabitat account below


  1. okame April 21, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    hi iangarrett,
    i also noticed the palm trees looked incredible. was your team part of that? are you able to share the name of your company?

  2. iangarrett April 18, 2010 at 12:19 am

    Designer from the lighting team here, glad you like it eco-panda!

  3. eco-panda April 16, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    the most amazing thing i ever seen ^^ i love the colors too.

  4. crane-ium April 16, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Thanks for the sneak peak. The crane looks amazing. More details about the design of this piece will be posted soon at Check for updates.

  5. engin33r April 16, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Hopper Engineering ( did the engineering for the crane. It was a fun job (not everyday you design a 150′-0″ wingtip to wingtip bird)…

    Ironically the most difficult part of the design was keeping it from flying away.

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home