Posts tagged with "Burning Man":

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An architecture course built around Burning Man and students finding ways to fund their projects

Each year, the Burning Man festival held in the Black Rock desert of Nevada attracts fantastical sculptures of all shapes and sizes. Joshua Potter, a fifth year student at the University of Westminster in London, is hoping that his structure "PURSUIT" will make to this years festival. Part of his studio assignment, PURSUIT follows a parametric approach—and an emphasis on self-reliance to fund student projects—that has become synonymous with his studio unit. Run by tutors Arthur Mamou-Mani and Toby Burgess, the studio, named DS10, has garnered a strong pedigree for complex designs. However, DS10's primary approach, according to Potter is about producing "happy and fun" architecture that also relies on rigorous testing such as model making and digital fabrication. “The studio's philosophy is to involve students as much as possible in the design, fabrication and construction process" the two said. "We chose Burning Man for its ten guiding principles which include ‘Radical Self-Reliance,’ ‘Radical Self-Expression,’ ‘Leave no trace,’ and ‘communal effort.’ This meant playful and climbable structures, fully built by us as a team in a way that wouldn't harm the local environment.” Within the past five years, DS10 has submitted over 80 projects to the Global Arts Grant of Burning Man. As a result, six proposals have been provided funding through the scheme, notably Fractal Cult and Shipwreck constructed in 2013 and Hayam in 2014. Students are heavily encouraged to seek funding for their projects either through the Global Arts Grant or Kickstarter, to see their projects realized. "They try and make it a lot of fun, but it's a lot of work!" said Potter, who also added that DS10's ethos has taught many students, including himself about being independent and self reliant. His project brief, meanwhile, called for a project that could respond to a social agenda, through a set of parameters. As a result, PURSUIT was born. Deriving from a mathematical theory known as "pursuit curvature," a system that relies on inputs and thresholds. Potter used the shape of an arrowhead and formed the idea of six arrowheads pointing towards the center. Using the this algorithmically, an iterative process forces certain points to move in accordance with each other. "With Pursuit Curvature, each point starts at a unique position of a polygon, and moves incrementally towards the nearest adjacent point until they all converge in the centre. The path travelled is directly influenced by the points around it, so the final curves represent the effects all of the points have on one another as a group," he explains. On his Kickstarter page, he goes on to say that his project "celebrates humanity's ongoing quest for Peace, Freedom and Joy - in Life, Love and Art" aiming to "create an interactive and unique sculptural playground for visitors."
  The design forms three interconnected spaces that offer unique perspectives of their surrounding and interior spatial arrangements. Potter adds that this encourages "playful interaction" and allows visitors to climb up the and around the structure while also providing a "space for personal reflection and communal gathering." If Potter's $25,575 dream is realized, PURSUIT will be burnt to the ground when Burning Man is over, perhaps symbolizing the final end of the "pursuit."
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Here are ten beautiful views of pop-up architecture (and Bjarke Ingels) from the 2015 Burning Man Festival

As the Burning Man festival comes to a close, here's a look at what pop-up architecture was exhibited at the Black Rock site in Nevada. Attracting a diverse audience including an unwelcome plague of insects, Burning Man closed on Labor Day. During the festival, it has almost become expected to find many weird and wondrous sculptures and art installations ranging from psychedelic letterforms to giant wireframe naked statues by the likes of Marco Cochrane. Architect Bjarke Ingels was also on the scene wearing some very steampunk goggles. Take a look at ten of our favorite images found on Instagram of the annual festival. https://instagram.com/p/7dkxG5QSKz/ https://instagram.com/p/7ZBc0tLZQs/ https://instagram.com/p/7ZAYx7rZe4/ https://instagram.com/p/7WI6itLZf1/ https://instagram.com/p/7djMFgsX_Z/ https://instagram.com/p/7diw7Cxrku/ https://instagram.com/p/7dgdTKGWm3/ https://instagram.com/p/7Yx4Eiqb45/ https://instagram.com/p/7difXMqb7d/ https://instagram.com/p/7ZAOEBLZeh/
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Red Deer Lights Up Burning Man

Prismatic pyramid evokes desert mirage by day, Aurora Borealis by night.

Given that their pyramidal acrylic installation at this summer's Burning Man was inspired in part by Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon album cover, it seems safe to say that the architects at Red Deer "get" the festival's vibe. "We try to get very intimate with our sites, so it was interesting to approach one that we hadn't been able to visit," said founding director Ciarán O'Brien. "Some of the primal forces we could see at play there were the heat of the desert and the way people interact with structures. Specifically, for us it was about light in all its forms." The UK firm worked closely with the structural engineers at Structure Mode to design a transparent six-meter-tall structure comprising interlocking equilateral triangles, while New York Institute of Technology professor Charles Matz contributed an integrated light display based on the Aurora Borealis. "All kinds of imagery came to mind that held to the desert landscape," said O'Brien. "By day, the concept evoked a mirage; by night, a kaleidoscope. One is ephemeral, a non-place; the other is specific, a beacon." Called Luz 2.0, the Burning Man installation is only the latest iteration of an ongoing exploration of the relationship between matter and light. The project began as a response to a commission for a band pavilion. "Red Deer's original idea was a scaffolding framework that would be clad in some reflective material," recalled Structure Mode's Geoff Morrow. "We suggested going one step beyond that and building an acrylic pyramid, to make it much more special." The clients canceled, but the designers applied for grants, ran a successful Kickstarter campaign, and debuted Luz at Secret Garden Party 2013 in Abbots Ripton, England. The first Luz featured a touch-sensitive floor screen-printed with a colorful pattern that appeared to change shape under different lighting conditions. For Burning Man, Red Deer omitted the floor "so that you interacted with the playa landscape," said O'Brien. Red Deer and Structure Mode jointly developed Luz 2.0's reciprocal modular system. "It was really interesting investigating how all these different connections could work, what different shapes could work within a three-sided pyramid," said Red Deer's Lucas Che Tizard. "The system we use is composed of equilateral triangles, but it actually gives us more than just pyramids—you see hexagons as well." The architects worked first with hand sketches, then transferred their ideas to SketchUp before moving to 3ds Max, Rhino, and Vectorworks to finalize the structure and start to explore how the modules would connect to one another. Structure Mode analyzed the design's structural stability in Oasys' GSA Suite.
  • Fabricator Red Deer, Structure Mode
  • Designers Red Deer (architects), Structure Mode (structural engineering), Charles Matz (lighting)
  • Location Black Rock City, NV
  • Date of Completion 2014
  • Material acrylic, bolts, barrel nuts, washers, custom lighting system, Mogees sensors
  • Process sketching, SketchUp, 3ds Max, Rhino, Vectorworks, Oasys GSA, CNC milling, shipping, drilling, wiring
Red Deer flattened the final design and emailed the files to the CNC cutters. At that point the three-dimensional installation "became a flat pack kit," said O'Brien. "Part of the challenge was that each of these pieces should be human-sized, so that they could be built by a small team using basic tools in desert conditions." To simplify installation, Structure Mode developed a streamlined bolt-and-nut assembly based on furniture-making connections. "In a way it's kind of low-tech, but it looks high-tech," said O'Brien. The UK contingent shipped Luz 2.0 to the Nevada desert in three crates. The components took longer than expected to arrive: though they had hoped to begin installation on Monday, the architects were forced to wait until Thursday. Nonetheless, the on-site crew managed to assemble the pyramid in just two days using hand drills. Matz's team, meanwhile, arrived on site with the electronics, including custom hardware based on 3D models sent to them by Red Deer. The installation of the lighting system "came together seamlessly," said O'Brien. "We were somewhat concerned about voltage, but it worked out." The only disappointment involved the Mogees sensors, designed to trigger changes in the light show as visitors climbed on and around the pyramid. They worked well in a small-scale test, but "unfortunately the settings didn't translate to the seven-meter structure," said O'Brien. "I can't say it fully fulfilled that brief." Red Deer and their collaborators will soon have another shot at realizing the vision behind Luz 2.0. As befits the installation's emphasis on the immaterial—not to mention the ethos of Burning Man itself—the architects plan to re-erect the structure elsewhere. "We've had quite a few offers from various benefactors, but we haven't figured out what would be best," said O'Brien. "Right now it's in storage in Reno, awaiting its next move."

Video> Burning Man: The Life and Death of a Desert City

Each year, we're continually amazed at the pop-up architecture that rises in Nevada's Black Rock Desert for Burning Man only to be destroyed in one grand flash of fire. What's equally awe-inspiring is the pop-up city that forms around the festival. We just came across this time-lapse video of the rise and fall of the city of Burning Man, which shows how the urban form, like the installations, slowly builds before igniting in the night and fading away. Set against the black of the desert night, the video shows how active and dynamic the site really is when the sun goes down. The festival comes alive with the darting about of lights around fixed centers of music and art. At the end, the calm of an abandoned desert returns for another year. [h/t Lost at E Minor.]
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Burning Man Amazes Yet Again

For the second year in a row (check out last year's report here) we'd like to share some of the most amazing, ridiculous, and inspiring architecture of Burning Man, which just wrapped up in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. And like last year the Playa's temporary installations didn't disappoint; displaying an aggressive level of imagination and ambition for Burning Man's 25th anniversary (has it really been that long?). The theme this year was Rites of Passage, although we're not sure the artists here are interested in following any rules. Photographer Michael Holden was on the ground to document the event. Here are our favorites from Burning Man 2011: The Burning Man By Rod Garrett This year the Burning Man—the symbol of the festival—was perched atop two pinnacles divided by a chasm. Four semi-pyramids surrounded the structure, creating alcoves for performance. Of course at the end of the festival the installation was torched. Tower of Transformation by Joe Arnold, Estes Park, CO This is one of the projects that really adhered to the festival's theme. According to its creators the Tower of Transformation represents the passage from "our self-imposed limitations to a world of pure, unbounded possibility." Formed by two very different sculptures connected by a hyperbolic frame, the base of the sculpture contracted inward and was covered with battered armor plating and rusty chains representing "the defenses that bind us in self-doubt and self-censure." The top  is a lotus blossom that opened outward and upward representing "pure potentiality and possibility." The Temple of Transition by Chris Hankins, Diarmaid Horkan, and the International Art Megacrew, Reno, NV, Dublin, Ireland, and Aukland, NZ Described by its creators as a "place where we both remember and look ahead," the installation consists of five smaller temples surrounding a larger central temple. Each temple contains altars, shrines, decorated archways, windows, and walkways, each "exploring a different phase of life," and promoting "peacefulness, reverence, and reflection." Orgasm by Brian Tedrick (Michael Holden) Orgasm by Bryan Tedrick, Glen Ellen, CA One of several sexual-themed installations, Orgasm was a rotating 20' x 8' steel vessel that was filled with wood and burned. The shapes that form the vessel included a phallic inner basket made of stainless steel and an outer receiving structure (yes, it was meant to look like a vagina) made of regular steel. When the interior was set on fire the coming together of male and female represented an orgasm. Enough said. AURORA by Charles Gadeken, San Francisco, CA Like the secret portal in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the installation AURORA represented the "secret clubhouse," the portal from a practical reality into a real life fairy tale. A metaphorical weeping willow tree rose 30 feet into the air, its trunk and copper leaves reflecting sunlight across the desert. The trunk was both solid and transparent, created from tubing bent in sinuous lines joined together with thousands of hand curved rods. The roots rose out of the ground, creating resting places for people to sit. At night, the sculpture's branches were lit with bands of green, yellow, red, and amber light. Tympani Lambada by Flaming Lotus Girls, San Francisco, CA (mksilvey)  Tympani Lambada by Flaming Lotus Girls, San Francisco, CA Tympani Lambada essentially represented the inner ear transformed into a physical installation through a steel armature, flame effects, LEDs, and sound effects. AND MORE....
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Burning Man Architecture Amazes

Proving our theory that the best architecture these days is installation architecture, the work on display this year at Burning Man is blowing us away. The theme this year is Metropolis: The Art of Cities, making for some even more inspired (and, of course out there..) art/architecture installations, which include: Future's Past, by Kate Raudenbush. The angular black steel "roots" of this installation resemble computer circuitry in the shape of a stepped pyramid. Above them the artist has created a bronze-colored Bodhi tree, representing the triumph of nature over modern consumption. Aeolian Pyrophonic Hall & Whispering Wall,  by Capra J'neva. A sound installation incorporating a wind harp, fire organ, and the voices of those at Burning Man, the hall wraps Burning Man "citizens" in dappled sunlight during the daytime, shadowy effects at night and surrounds them with sounds evocative of the desert. Mant Farm, by the Sober Free Society, Seattle, WA. The Mant Farm is an immersive  vertical maze; a.k.a. a working ant farm built to human scale. Minaret, by Bryan Tedrick, Glen Ellen, CA. A 50 foot tower that can be scaled externally to the midpoint, then entered into and climbed to the top. A latticed stainless steel dome on top allows people to see out without the danger of falling.The tower, built out of steel and redwood, is built in 6 sections. The bottom 3 were built like a lion's vertebrae. The upper 3 sections are painted to resemble snake skin and are smooth to discourage more climbing. An interior access portal allows people to climb up to the dome. Spire of Fire, by Steve Atkins and Eric Smith, Reno, NV. The Spire of Fire, a 48-ft blend of steel, fire, and light, is designed to "reflect the evolution of modern metropolitan architecture." At night it will feature brightly colored lights and bursts of rhythmic flame reflected off of stainless steel. Syzygryd, by Interpretive Arson, False Profit Labs, and GAFFTA, Oakland, CA.  A town square for the collaborative creation of music. According to its creators, it's "a public space, it's a sculpture, and it's a musical instrument." Temple of Flux, by Rebecca Anders, Jessica Hobbs, Peter Kimelman and Crew, Berkeley, CA.  The Temple of Flux, according to its creators, stands as a "counter-monument," made of hundreds of thin timber members arcing into the air. Zark! by Quentin Davis, Bala Cynwyd, PA. This sculpture appears to be a huge caterpillar at a distance, glowing in the darkness. Inside this organic architecture, participants will find a miniature "ruin" of playa mud brick buildings. Megatropolis. A city skyline of six buildings that will cover 5,000 square feet within a Satellite City that Covers 15,000 square feet. Helix Spire, by Eric Remash. Everday materials form a 28 foot tall helix-shaped "climbing toy." Chapel of Love by Lisa Tayebi