New Plug-n-Plays Coming Up With Their Own Principles

Soho Gardens is the latest ultra-luxe glamping experience at Burning Man. It is very much following the lead of previous sherpa-laden hotel experiences at Burning Man that have been highly promoted to the media, from Directors Chip Conley, Jim Tananbaum, and (ironicallyChris Weitz who is totally against plug-n-plays (see comments).

So, what’s the Soho Gardens twist?

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No maids, no sherpas. No fire. No drama. No ‘razis.

O. M. F. G.

How would one cope? This self-reliance thing is getting a little ridiculous. How are we supposed to rely on ourselves without maids or paparazzis? What’s the point of sherpas if some camps forbid them? Should we chain them to our camps and not let them ever go free range at Burning Man?

Soho Gardens promise to educate their guests in the Principles of Burning Man, but only about 3 of them…after that, there are better principles to focus on. And who’s to say that “Love” and “Green Energy” aren’t better than “Immediacy” and “Radical Self Reliance, anyway”? The principles are just guidelines.

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Wi-Fi is available at limited hours, presumably as a free gift to all Burners.

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They’re pretty specific about who they do, and don’t, want to Radically Include:

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They’re looking at a few more amenities than the BLM’s Blue Pit:

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They’ve figured out how to include Gifting and Radical Inclusion with the requisite VIP Exclusivity: Gift Tickets

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No word yet on how much per head, but we believe there are still slots available.

Temples, Temples, Everywhere…

Inhabitat is one of my favorite Internet sites. They’ve just featured Burning Man – specifically, the Hayam Sun Temple designed by British architecture student Josh Haywood. This might give David Best’s Temple of Grace a run for it’s money this year.

London-based designer and University of Westminster architecture student Josh Haywood has designed the Hayam Sun Temple, a stunning temporary pavilion built from lasercut plywood for Burning Man 2014. The annual festival, which attracts some of the most creative and diverse minds from around the world to Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, awarded the Moorish-inspired filigree design with the Burning Man Art Grant. Haywood and his fellow architecture and design classmates have also taken to Kickstarter to crowd fund the project’s construction and transportation costs.

As a temple to the sun, the pavilion forgoes the trim of precious metals and enamels characteristic of Moorish design and relies instead on the sunrays that will filter through the delicate screen and bathe the temple in a golden halo.

Inspired by tessellated Moorish architecture, the temporary art installation is pierced through with intricate geometric cutouts that filter the sun’s rays and cast dramatic shadows onto the desert floor.

At night, the Hayam will be illuminated from within like a giant lantern.

Built with plywood laser cut into the intricate patterns of Islamic geometry, each perforated piece will be seamlessly joined together into a curvilinear structure that rests atop four pillars.

Read more: Hayam Temple by Josh Haywood « Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

You can support the project here.

Check out these stunning images from Inhabitat:

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From the project’s Kickstarter page:

We are a group of designers and architecture students from London. Our aim is to produce joyful and spiritual architecture using digital design and fabrication. 

In this time of world conflict we believe nothing is more important than the bringing together of people as exemplified by the Burning Man community. The Hayam Sun Temple is our contribution to this quest for peace and harmony.

The word ‘Hayam’ is one of many Arabic words for love, specifically passionate love, and this is a project that has been built on passion and love. I believe that all the important things in life should be carried out with passion, whether that be loving, designing, making, or building.

This tessellated temple is the result of a year-long study, exploring the mystique and magic of Moorish architecture and researching the refined geometry and pattern of the Alhambra and the Alcazars. Geometry is the language of the universe and speaks to us all equally. I have experimented with the digitalisation of these geometries in parametric models to generate new and exciting architectural forms.

The Hayam is a temple to sunlight, open to the sky, filtering the sun’s rays through the intricately pierced plywood panels, and throwing dazzling patterns of light in every direction. At night the four pillars are illuminated from within like a giant lantern.

The pavilion references motifs and arabesques traditionally found in Moorish architecture but in itself the Hayam has ties to no religion; it provides a shared spiritual and sensual experience that transcends language and culture. The theme of the festival this year is ‘Caravanserai’, and our pavilion shares in all the connotations of that word: travel to exotic parts, adventure and exploration, fusion of cultures, crossing of borders, rest and shelter for weary travellers before they continue on their journey.

Scale laser cut test model of one quarter of the temple

“If you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life”. Frank Lloyd Wright


Being A Man – Burning Man Project Style

larry worldVideo has been released of Larry Harvey’s speech last month at the Being A Man 2014 conference in Southbank, London. The warm up to his talk suggested it might be rather controversial, with Larry’s revelations about child abuse and necromancy. The talk itself is not so juicy, and consists mainly of Larry reading a long email about his hat that he wrote to his dog-burning son Tristan (“if he’d only perservered!”) during a time of great tribulation.

Larry says in his speech that the first burn “gave me the idea finally that it was OK just to do things, without worrying about the venue and without worrying about permission, without unduly worrying about the purpose, and to do these things in a spirit of pure self expression that was shared with other folks”.

In later burns, watching others “pulling together” to haul the ship’s rope to lift the Man statue he designed up right “it was as if people had merged with it, and it mirrored us all back to one another. It was so conspicuously self conscious that we thought that we were the man – we were being a man, together”.

Here’s Larry on another panel from the conference, hosted by the winner of the George Orwell prize for journalism who wrote a compendium on conspiracy theories. Note he’s swapped out his trademark cowboy hat for the Burning Man Project Not Merchandise scarf, the hit new fashion accessory of the winter.

One significant aspect of these talks is, did Larry Harvey get paid for the engagement, or is this our donation dollars at work? The Burning Man Project, a non-profit, is now the owner of the Burning Man event. All the profits from the event, as well as our additional donations, go to the Burning Man Project. In the new structure they’ve devised, our tickets and vehicle passes are not tax deductible for us, only BMOrg gets the tax advantages. We buy them from their for-profit subsidiary, which then can reduce its tax bill to $0 by making an annual donation to its non-profit parent. This way, BMOrg and its owners get the benefit of the deal – ie, the tax break – and Burners foot the bill.

larry harvey mike mikel speakingWhat does the Project do with all the money, both profits and donations? It pays salaries, travel, and costume expenses. And it supports a UFO art project going to Vegas, an event in their office on crowdfunding, and a sympoisum with the founders in New York that we were told would be released on video, but is still being kept a secret. One wonders, what was said there? We heard that Larry said Burning Man would accept Bitcoins (not true). Anyone else got any tips on what might have been said that was so controversial it had to be hushed up?

Sadly, we’re not just providing a few selected examples of all the good that the Project does. That’s it – this is the extent of it. It’s been several years now since what the Bay Guardian called the Old Bait and Switch. How is the Burning Man Project being a Catalyst for Creative Culture in the world? BMOrg  don’t seem to be interested so much in gifting and sharing Burner culture, as they are in monetizing Burner culture for their own benefit and leveraging it to promote themselves and spread their own principles and ideas and rules.