Smart Surfaces: Team 4

Various types of LEDs will diffusely illuminate a wall comprised of straws. Mimicking a swarm of fireflies, the lights will flee and evade according to motion detection. The soft texture generated by the straws, in concert with ‘moving’ LEDs, offers a unique visual experience and gives users the childhood feeling of playing with actual fireflies.

Collaboratively created for a multidisciplinary course called Smart Surfaces at the University of Michigan, engineers, architects, and designers came together to create a "‘Biomimetic Smart Surface"

Sponsored by the thingM company, there are approximately 156,000 clear drinking straws, 276 white 5mm LED lights, 48 blinkM lights, 3 blinkM MaxM, and 3 mega arduinos used for this 12' x 6' x 2' piece.

The piece was exhibited at the North Campus Research Center at the University of Michigan from December 2- 13, 2010.


Steven Madsen, Material Science and Engineering
Kevin Yien, Material Science and Engineering
Chris Niswander, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
Jordan Stoewsand-Kryscio, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
Mallory Baran, School of Art and Design
Michael Theodore, School of Art and Design

Firefly Cloud was featured on the ThingM website.
Explore the evolution of this project, past projects and Mallory's thoughts/feeling towards this unique collaborative experience on her blog: Think Tank.
Mallory Baran
Recent Work About Me Contact Blogs
Concretely The Remix
Eugene V. Debs Presents
Smart Surfaces: Team 4
Deb's Horror
Melkorka Daníelsdóttir
105 Sjálfstyuioþurftarbúskapur
Icelandic Cozie
Étoile Filante
















































































































































© Mallory Baran 2010-2013