The Crimson Collective, a Los Angeles-based consortium of artists, architects and designers, unveiled its inaugural project, a temporary fabric structure dubbed “Ascension,” at the 2010 Coachella Music and Arts Festival, Indio, Calif., in April.
Designed in the spirit of the Japanese legend of a Thousand Cranes, Ascension is a 150-by-45-foot crane crafted from soaring planes of fabric and a modular aluminum and tension wire skeleton. Physically, the installation served as both art and a sheltered destination for festival attendees. Metaphorically, the giant crane carried a universal message of peace.
“Inspired by the ancient art of origami, Ascension depicts a crane at its first moments of flight,” says Crimson Collective founder and lead designer, Behn Samareh. “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.”
Constructed on the principle of tensional integrity, the crane is a temporary but mobile structure that can “ascend” from almost any flat site. The more than 100 components and more than 7,000 square feet of 80 percent mesh texilene sunshade material can be dismantled and shipped in one 40-foot container. Lighting for the installation is powered by solar collection stations, making the structure energy independent.