Playa Ball

The ORB, Bjarke Ingels’s floating silver sphere, rises at Burning Man

Art On View West
Bjarke Ingels's and Jakob Lange's ORB is rising at this year's Burning Man festival. (Via Burning Man Youtube)
Bjarke Ingels's and Jakob Lange's ORB is rising at this year's Burning Man festival. (Via Burning Man Youtube)

Fans of large metallic spheres rejoice: The ORB rises. Despite not meeting their crowdfunding goal, Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Lange of Bjarke Ingels Group have successfully created their installation at this year’s Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nevada. The pair launched an Indiegogo campaign earlier this summer with a goal of raising $50,000 for the project. At the time of writing this article, the pair had raised $34,251 pledged from 127 backers.

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AN spotted the ball in Burning Man’s official Youtube live stream of the event. The stream peers around the site of the event, known as the Playa to festival-goers, who are also known as Burners.

Jakob Lange posted a construction image of The ORB last week to his Instagram account, but neither architect has released official imagery of the project.

Rendering of The ORB

Rendering of The ORB on the Playa. (Courtesy Bjarke Ingels Group)

Burning Man is a temporary event in the Nevada desert where thousands of participants camp, build temporary structures, and engage in various activities of a psychedelic nature. In recent years Burning Man has become synonymous with Silicon Valley and the way in which counter-cultural experiences can be commodified as expensive entertainment. Basic tickets to the week-long festival cost upwards of $300.

The ORB prototype

Prototype studies of The ORB (Courtesy Jakob Lange/Via Indiegogo)

According to the architects, The ORB will be “a new planet to sci-fi fans, a wayfinder for travelers or just a huge disco ball to those who love a good party!” Although it appears to float above the ground, the 83-foot sphere is held up by a 105-foot steel mast. Renderings and prototype studies showed a mirrored metallic surface to the object, although in the live stream it appears to be either duller or covered in desert dust.

The structure will be up during the festival this week, when it will be presumably be dismantled or destroyed along with the rest of the festival’s structures.

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