Presented by: Jiangmei Wu
The goal of the Booma project is to create novel lighting products that are ecological and user-friendly. The light shade is produced by a technique that is similar to that used in paper folding, while the aluminum base is bent using press break and then spot welded. In comparison to other fabrication techniques, folding or bending allows for complex and innovative structures formed with simple and low cost fixtures at the point of assembly. From flat sheet material, Booma can be easily deployed into a three-dimensional volume and then can be collapsed back to a two-dimensional flat shape that is much smaller, for ease of shipping and storage. In addition, the three dimensional volume is flexible, allowing it to be shaped to different heights, and in one of the designs in different curvatures, making it customizable and user friendly.
For the light shades, a durable spunbonded olefin sheet is chosen for its durability, cost-effectiveness and recyclability. It is made of a very fine and continuous High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) fiber that is first spun and then bonded together by heat and pressure, without additional chemicals and additives. Because of this, olefin sheet is one hundred percent recyclable. It is super lightweight (lighter than paper), flexible, and resistant to water, abrasion, chemicals, and aging. Because of its polymer content, olefin has a great ability to diffuse light, while its thin fiber under lighting conditions provides additional visual interest, thus making it an ideal material for being a light shade.
There are three steps in the design process: exploration of geometric folding principles, small scale paper modeling, and full-scale prototype development. Typically, geometric crease patterns are focused when generating folded structures. In the Booma project, only the crease patterns that are able to create flat-foldable and rigid foldable structures are focused. One of the ways to understand rigid-foldability is that the folded forms are not locked and they can be rigidly folded into their final form by bending the material just at the crease lines. While a folded structure is rigidly foldable, it is not necessary flat foldable. In order for a crease pattern to be flat foldable locally then a necessary and sufficient condition, called Kawasaki’s Theorem, must be satisfied. For an entire folded structure to be flat folded, the Kawasaki condition must be able to be applied to all the inner vertices of a crease pattern globally, and there will be no collision of the parts of the folded structure during assembly. The design of Booma sheds is based on the rearrangement of four known flat-foldable and rigid foldable patterns, such as the Miura pattern, the Waterbomb pattern, the helical triangle pattern, and the Yoshimura pattern. The goal is to create a self-enclosed volume to host a spherical light source. Several paper models are folded and studied based on the alternations and combinations of the afore-mentioned patterns.
The design of Booma bases is based on the multi-functional idea that the bases, in addition to be luminary hardware to host a light bulb, can also serves as a container for the light sheds. They are laser cut first and then shaped using simple tools such as press brakes, with only small amounts of spot welding. Several iterations of designs are studied. One of the bases is slightly altered so that the light source can sit at a slight angle to accommodate the slight tilting and bending of the flexible light shed.
For assemblage, the light sheds are connected to the aluminum bases on the bottom and top. The light shed is then propped up by thin metal rods. The bottoms and tops of the rods are connected to their plates by simple mechanical design, thus allowing the shed to be detached and collapsed easily for storage. The lengths of the rods are adjustable, in order to produce various heights, which is another user-friendly design feature.