Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tales of the Palapa Mama

For the backstage component of BambooDNA's Coachella Music Festival project, we constructed four beautiful bamboo palapas. Each with several lounging areas and glorious details pulled together with a crew over 20 deep. I somehow ended up in a management role and helped make sure that everything was coordinated from pre-fab site to Coachella, used everyone's labor efficiently and dialed in the last details for the VIP backstage environment. Afterall, bamboo isn't just about huge sculptures, it's beautiful at the human scale as well and all the rockstars during this weekend got well acquainted with our work.
Prototyping and prefab in Santa Barbara.
Connecting the cross beams and curved rafters with 3/8" all-thread rod.

Labeling galore! Four different, yet similar units, each with over 20 parts.

Assembly crew
Let's move that 2,000 lbs. structure 10 feet to the right and twist 25 degrees...
Alright if Gerard says so!

My upholstery shop in the desert.

Thank god for Bernina sewing machines!

Details of the curtain tie-backs.

Riding the load of cushions and bolstiers over to the site!

Check out those details!
Stretching spandex for the shading using beans tied in little pouches.
Love the light effects on the shade clothes
Unique lighting also made of bamboo fills out our environment.
Designs by Kinetic Lighting.

the 'red palapa'
the 'yellow palapa'

the 'burgundy palapa'

the rockstars arrive!

Awesome nighttime environment!


  1. AWESOME photos erica. thank you.

  2. Oh the fabric work! This must have taken a good amount of time. You are so multi-talented.