Blumen Lumen Kinetic Art Now Operational, Open to Public

Blumen Lumen, the kinetic art installation at the corner of Georgia Avenue and Colesville Road, is now fully operational and the site is open to the public.

The installation from the Foldhaus art collective is a 25-foot tall group of “flowers” that changes colors and opens and closes based on weather information from the National Weather Service, which is connected to the art’s controlling software.

In addition, the human voice speaking certain words also can change the art. 

“This art represents the best integration of art, design, culture, nature, engineering and technology and provides a great learning lab for young students on how science, engineering and technology can come together with design to create kinetic art,” Paul Weinschenk, president of retail with Peterson Companies, partners with Foulger-Pratt for the Downtown Silver Spring development, said in a press release.

The installation and garden, which replaced a large sign and water feature, is part of a $10 million renovation of the development.

The flowers are currently scheduled to open at 8 a.m. and close at for the night at 10 p.m. They also close and open between 12 and 12:30 p.m., as well as at around 6 p.m., according to a statement from Foldhaus.

The flowers are illuminated beginning at 5 p.m. and remain lit until around 6:30 a.m. the next day, though work is underway to sync them more closely with sunset and sunrise.

The art also is programmed so the flowers close when it rains, or during high winds or temperatures are close to freezing.

People walking by can change the colors on the flowers by saying a single word (one for each flower). The art responds to the sound of many colors, including yellow, orange, turquoise, purple, violet, lime and rainbow, as well as the sound of a number of plant names, such as rose, daisy, lily, chrysanthemum, sunflower, tulip, lilac, poppy, hydrangea and others.

In connection with the opening of the art, and to honor their partnership with Adventist HealthCare, DTSS has launched a thank-you campaign online that allows participants to purchase a “Bouquet of Gratitude” with a $25 donation going to the Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center Foundation.

Photos by David Lay

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