The annual Burning Man festival, where architects from around the world get creative in the Desert of Nevada, has officially started. The burners have begun heading towards Black Rock City. This year’s theme revolves around the notion of “Metamorphosis”, unleashing the creativity of the artists and putting in place exceptional installations and pavilions.
Burning Man: The Latest Architecture and News
This year’s theme for the famous annual Burning Man festival revolves around the notion of “Metamorphosis”. Taking place in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, from the 25th of August till the 2nd of September, each year artists and architects from around the world get creative and imagine installations and pavilions responding to one general question.
For the 2019 edition, Burning Man has already revealed the design for the Central Temple by Geordie Van Der Bosch. Read on to discover more about 2 interventions, taking part in this year's event, an Ornamental Shade from San Francisco and a Desert Sauna from Finland.
One of the main attractions of 2018’s Burning Man Festival was the ORB, designed by Bjarke Ingels, Iacob Lange & Laurent de Carniere. The inflated spherical mirror was created as a conceptual representation of Earth and human expression, leaving no trace after its deflation. The project consumed 30 tons of steel, 1,000 welding and sewing hours, and $300,000 of personal funds to make the ORB come to life.
As part of their mini-film series, creative duo another : have collaborated with music composer Yu Miyashita and released a short video that explores the process of creating the ORB in an otherworldly way.
Burning Man has revealed the design for the central 2019 Temple for Black Rock City by Geordie Van Der Bosch. Featuring a design inspired by the Torii gates of the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Japan, the Temple submission was chosen for its elegant simplicity. Dubbed The Temple of Direction, the design consists of wooden archways that form a linear passageway to a large central hall.
Architecture as a profession today struggles with questions of relevance, with core questions surrounding the issue of whether it can create cultural vibrancy and meaning for the diverse world it serves. Within our own design community, we tend to give a lot of sway to an “exclusive tier” of architects who provide leadership and vision. While this leadership is critically important to the profession, it only corresponds to 2% of what gets built. Take it from Frank Gehry, whose 2014 comment still rings in our ears: “98% of everything that is built and designed today is pure sh*t. There is no sense of design, no respect for humanity."
If we embrace the importance and unique value of all things built on a wider range, we need to ask ourselves: how have we served and rewarded our peers responsible for creating this other 98%? Where should we set the bar for the emotional-artistic qualities of mainstream architecture?
One of the star attractions of 2018’s Burning Man Festival was the ORB, designed and overseen by Bjarke Ingels, Iacob Lange & Laurent de Carniere. The 1/500,000 scale sphere of the Earth’s surface was designed to conceptually reference earth and human expression, intending to leave no trace following its deflation.
The designers wanted the giant sphere to act as a guiding landmark for festival-goers, and set up an Indiegogo campaign back in July to raise the remaining funding for the installation. In total, the team invested 30 tons of steel, 1,000 welding and sewing hours, and $300,000 of their own funds to make the ORB a reality.
As Burning Man 2018 comes to a close, snapshots and glimpses of the event have begun to emerge in the mediasphere. The most recognizable among these is, perhaps, BIG's Orb, a hovering sphere representing a scaled version of the earth itself.
Bjarke Ingels Group has built an 80-foot-diameter ORB at the 2018 Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nevada. The ORB was designed as an inflated spherical mirror with a steel mast. A series of photos have captured the ORB from both Burning Man festival goers and BIG partner Kai-Uwe Bergmann. As a landmark in The Playa, the ORB conceptually references mother earth and human expression, designed to leave no trace following its deflation.
Ever wonder how Burning Man’s famous Black Rock City rises from the dust of the Nevada Desert every year? A video by vlogger Shalaco Sching offers an insight, documenting the process undertaken by the team of surveyors tasked with creating a temporary city from scratch, year after year.
As Shalaco documents through his video below, his Instagram, and a written account on the Burning Man Journal, a team of 21 surveyors spend seven days laying the lines and waypoints of a 5.62-mile plan, creating the largest and most iconic art installation at Burning Man – the city itself.
Moscow-based designer Alex Shtanuk has launched an Indiegogo campaign for his 107,000-square-foot (10,000-square-meter) blanket woven from over 3000 NASA Space blankets, to feature at this year’s Burning Man festival at Black Rock City, Nevada.
“The Blanket” seeks to “bring the waves of the ancient Lake Lahontan back to Playa,” influenced by wind conditions to mirror surreal forms such as waves, mountains, or giant sculptures. With an exterior metallic coating, the blanket will reflect 97% of radiated heat, creating a cool, refreshing environment underneath for those seeking shelter from the hot Playa sun.
Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Lange have launched an Indiegogo fundraiser for an 80-foot-diameter ORB to be constructed for the 2018 Burning Man festival at Black Rock City, Nevada. Scaled at 1/500,000th of the earth’s surface, the reflective sphere sits “at the axis of art & utility, capturing the entire Black Rock City in an airborne temporal monument that mirrors the Burning Man experience to the Burners as single beings in the midst of an intentional community."
As well as acting as a wayfinder for navigating The Playa, the ORB sits as a tribute to mother earth and human expression, designed to blend with its surroundings during the night, and leave no trace following its deflation.
Every year in August, a temporary metropolis is erected in Black Rock City, Nevada. This is Burning Man, an annual event of art and architecture that attracts some 70,000 participants. The people who come to Burning Man come from all walks of life. What is incredible is that they come together to construct an ephemeral city that lasts for 7 days. These people assume the role of architects and construction workers and use the desert to build all sorts of shelters in a fast, sustainable way. The desert is so remote, and everything built in Black Rock City is packed and taken home at the end of the event, and some of the art is burned on site. This poses a unique architectural challenge. The people who have come to build these structures have to plan them way in advance to accommodate all the challenges of working in the desert, but the result is worth it - a striking, unique city, democratically built, set against a desert landscape, and for only one week.
We had the chance to interview Kim Cook at the World Architecture Festival in Berlin. Kim Cook is Director of Art and Civic Engagement at Burning Man. Kim Cook and her team are tasked with increasing the impact of Burning Man’s arts and civic initiatives. As part of her role, Kim engages with artists and community leaders to increase opportunities for funding, collaboration and learning.
Designed using 3D parametric software, the pavilion is formed from 20 timber trusses that spiral in toward a central point the reaches toward the sky. Starting on the ground, the triangular trusses span large enough distances to create a series of spiraling paths toward the center of the structure, where a giant 3D-printed mandala will be displayed. The spaces in between the truss members will also be large enough to serve as alcoves.
Christian Weber, a 20-plus year veteran of the Burning Man festival has learned a few tricks on the Playa. Shelter from the harsh Black Rock Desert winds, heat, dust and cold nights are attributes of an experienced camp. “Every year we unload our camp out of the container and use our container as our kitchen. It literally has fold-down tables [and] air conditioning… and when we’re all done, we throw it back in the container and it’s ready to go for next year.”
The World Architecture Festival (WAF) has announced their program for the 2017 edition focusing on the theme of “Performance.” An incredible list of speakers including Alison Brooks, Charles Jencks, Pierre de Meuron and France Kéré will feature across 3 days from November 15th to 17th at the Arena Berlin, Germany. Conferences, city tours, lectures and critiques of the shortlisted projects from the 2017 WAF awards are among the events scheduled for the festival.
The seminars, speeches, debates and discussions will examine “the topic of performance from the perspectives of housing, public spaces, festivals, cultural institutions and new technologies.”
The week of Burning Man 2017 is halfway through, and glimpses of the event are starting to make their rounds through the social mediasphere. Under the theme of “Radical Ritual,” this year features as many impressive structures and sculptures as ever, including a central temple holding the wooden man built to commemorate the Golden Spike, the ceremonial final spike driven to join the rails of the United States’ first transcontinental railroad.
Check out our favorite structures from the event, below.
Columbia GSAPP's Extraction Lab, led by Christoph Kumpusch, is a five year-long project beginning in August of this year with a student workshop at the 2017 Burning Man Festival in Black Rock Desert, Nevada. "With the desert as a canvas, and Burning Man as a context," the project will deploy a roof structure into the heart of the gathering in order to—among other goals—"extract what is most absent in the landscape: water." In this episode of GSAPP Conversations, Kumpusch outlines just what the new laboratory has planned.
Burning Man 2016 is underway in the temporary city of Black Rock City, Nevada – meaning for one week, thousands of festival goers will romp through the desert taking pictures of the hundreds of art and architectural installations constructed for the event. This year's theme is "DaVinci's Workshop," inspiring sculptures based off the artist's famous inventions and artworks, including a large-scale interpretation of the Vitruvian Man on a circular frame.
Read on to see some of the best structures and installations found at Burning Man 2016.