Koulu On Fire brought the Koulu School concept to Burning Man, Black Rock City - center stage. Koulu School sets learning free to make education accessible to everyone.


We identified a need to extend the Koulu experience beyond Burning Man and capture content from interactions with burners.

The Koulu Yearbook app allows burners to take selfies using the webcam on their smartphone to register as teachers, find lessons they might enjoy and provide a way to keep in contact with their students after the burn.


Service Designer
Software Developer

I conducted workshops to design the service workflow as a team and I collaborated with the infinitely clever Peter Tapio on the hardware & server aspects. I also designed & built the app itself, packaging it to be shipped to Black Rock City.


There were challenges. Many burners carry their smartphones as a camera, but there's no internet access - so native apps or internet-based web apps were out of the question. The project also had minimal budget constraints and the harsh desert conditions to consider.

To meet these challenges, we hacked a ZSun WiFi card reader to create a custom, intelligent WiFi hot spot - a captive portal like those found at an airport, which loaded our app instead of logging in.


Angular 2
Custom WebRTC photo booth
PHP on Lighttpd
ArrestDB and SQLite
OpenWRT on hacked ZSun Wifi router

You can find my lab notes on hacking the ZSun on my blog.