2015 Temple Design Revealed

promise in the desert2015 temple coppertemple model
It’s the Temple of Promise. In the midst of a carnival of chumps, suckers, and rubes. Nestled within the 100-foot high Temple structure will be a very Bohemian grove of trees.

temple of promise trees

Looks like it should provide great shelter in a dust storm, especially with that copper cowling. I think it will sound amazing from the inside.

From the Temple of Promise Facebook page:

The Dreamers Guild is a new collective of builders, artists, caretakers, and dreamers. We are honored that our first project as a team will be to build the Temple for Burning Man in 2015. Temple of Promise is brought to you by dreamers including:

  • Jazz Tigan: Artist/Designer
    Dan Swain: Architect
    Jason DeCook “Woodshop”: Build Lead
    Todd Evans: Project Manager
    April M. Jones: Communications Lead
    Gloria Beck: Volunteer Lead
    Douglas Smith and Jordan Rose: Architect Design Team
    Mark Day: Documentarian/Videographer
    Leori Gill: Bookkeeper, Photographer
    Scooter Wilson: Lighting Team
    Dylan Modell: Crew Support
    Communications and Fundraising Team: Dave Slater, Elaine Noble, Melissa Kirk, Sharma Hendel, more.
    Kevin Byall: Grove Lead
    Kenji Aragaki: Fire Pits Lead
    —————————————————————The Temple is a Journey
    Everyone who comes to Black Rock City is on a journey. We were inspired by the idea that the Temple could support, enrich, and deepen this journey through its very design. To this end, our offering first presents an immense skyward reaching spire but immediately invites you deeper, offering a transformative path as it gradually twists and tapers to an imminently human scale.

    The Temple Serves
    Our offering provides solemn spaces for individual contemplation as well as the
    capacity to accommodate larger gatherings of both remembrance and celebration. Traditions and rituals make the Temples of Burning Man truly singular – they are secular, ephemeral, and defined by the participation of their visitors. Our offering recognizes and cherishes these elements while seeking to interpret in a unique way.

    The Temple Listens
    The Burning Man community engages deeply with its Temple, coming to this place of sanctity with many different needs, carrying many different burdens. We view the Temple experience as a conversation with the space and feel the primary role of the Temple is not to speak but to listen. This guiding principle has been a touchstone informing every aspect of our design process.

Matthais Pliessnig’s designs inspired the Temple Crew

 From Voices of Burning Man:

For four years in a row, the temples of Black Rock City have been palatial, romantic, classical in design. Time’s up. Some members of the 2015 Temple crew worked on the enchantingly abstract, boundary-pushing Temple of Flux five years ago, and they have brought that same fluid, organic inspiration to this year’s design: the Temple of Promise.


The Temple of Promise is a guide. It’s a calming hand, and it’s a listening ear. Nestled in its center is a grove of trees. It’s no tower or pyramid or other such shape dictated by logic alone. It is no less a temple for its lifelike forms. It is more.

Scattered amidst the flow of the Temple area, wooden sculptures shaped like stones form a soft boundary. The tapering spiral of the main structure provides shelter and quiet. The lobed spire at its opening will tower 97 feet high. The tail of the building curls into a circle around the open-air grove, a container well suited for gatherings. The trees will be bare at the beginning of the week, but participants will leave their messages on strips of white cloth, which they will hang from the trees like the leaves of a weeping willow.


Here’s some of the previous work of this Temple Crew that members of this Temple Crew have participated in as part of other crews:

Image: Neil Girling/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Temple of Flux, 2010. Image: Neil Girling/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Trojan Horse, 2010. Image: Sharona Gott/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Trojan Horse, 2011. Image: Sharona Gott/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Image: The Tablehopper/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Anubis, 2012. Image: The Tablehopper/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Alien Siege Machine, 2014. Image: John Tock/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Alien Siege Machine, 2014. Image: John Tock/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Immediacy in a Dust Storm

A guest post here by reader Jillian Corey:


Immediacy In A Dust Storm At Burning Man

Just like the postal service (neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night), we play through snow and sleet and fog and rain… well, actually we are playing in the midst of a dust storm.

But as the super fine dust particles whirl through the air, lodging themselves in our hair, eyes, the corners of our pursed mouths, coating our bows and strings, the Playa Pops orchestra plays on.

We are far from the concert halls some of the more seasoned musicians may be accustomed to and even farther away from the dust-free homes of those of us who only occasionally pull our instruments out to pick out a Bach sonata or a Beethoven symphony. The dust we usually wipe from our instruments comes from disuse — not desert.

But now we raise our bows and dive into the Brandenberg Concerto #3 with vim and vigor, both in spite of the elements and perhaps even to spite them.

photo: John Goodman

photo: John Goodman

“Is that the best you’ve got?” our bold fortes and clipped staccatos seem to ask, “bring it on!” The wind whips around our modest shelter, the Temple of Grace, an elegant structure made from wood laser cut to the point that it resembles lace — simultaneously strikingly beautiful and seemingly immeasurably fragile.

Many of the musicians are missing, lost in the dust storm, accurately called “whiteouts” for their sudden appearance and vision-destroying opacity. A cellist staggers in, midway through the performance, having gotten lost in the storm, only to have a string snap several songs later.

But what is a performance like this without the adversity, the struggle?

From the perspective of the random passerby, out of the dust floats the music of Beethoven. This does not seem possible, both because of its unlikely presence in the middle of a dust storm and its status as the first classical music presence at Burning Man, an event previously known for the thumping bass of electronic dance music.

Drawn in by our music, passersby shelter (somewhat) from the storm.

One of the 10 principles of Burning Man is “immediacy,” a rarely practiced skill in the real world, but perhaps one of the most intrinsic to the event. The festival’s website describes the principle of “immediacy” as follows:

“Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.”

This statement does not completely capture the concept of immediacy, but getting caught in a dust storm does, in its most visceral form. When you can’t see the hand in front of your face, there is nothing beyond the now, the immediate.

While not lethally dangerous, a dust storm causes almost all activity and future planning to grind to a halt, forcibly driving us into the moment.

So many times in the default world, we longingly moon over other people’s travel photos, saying “gee, I’d love to go there someday.” An idle run-in with an old friend elicits a hopeful “we should hang out sometime.” Despite the best of intentions, neither these desires may come to pass.

The audience huddles around us, either there by choice or by happenstance, breaking the circle only after the last bar is played — then swept away by the wind.

As the wind finally begins to die down and the dust settles, audience members and musicians take the opportunity to clamber onto art cars or pedal away on bicycles, scattering back to their respective camps.

Even at Burning Man, an event almost wholly divorced from a conventional concept of time or schedules, people have found routines, places to be, things to do, and will soon be returning to them.

But for a moment, everyone stood still, and just listened to the music.


Dear Guardians

A short film on the Temple and its Guardians

Since 2002, the Guardians have held an integral role at the Temple of Burning Man. They have remained largely invisible, holding space from the shadows. Until now.

Directed by VISION WEAVER ianmack.com
Music by HIATUS soundcloud.com/hiatus

Additional footage
MATIAS SEVEN CLOUDS vimeo.com/sevenclouds

Sound design by JEREMY THERRIEN

“The Temple rises apart from Black Rock City, an oasis of calm out in the deep playa that stands resolute, able to bear what participants bring and to be what we need at the moment we call on it.

Behind the Temple stands a group that has quietly watched over those structures each year since 2002. The main duty of the Temple Guardians is to protect the Temple and those who visit it. We abide with love for the Temple and everything that it represents.” – The Temple Guardians


A Permanent Temple in Paradise

Debra Klein has written a great feature at the Daily Beast about David Best’s new Temple at the Paradise Ridge Winery in Sonoma- a permanent structure made of steel, now installed between “TRUTH” and “LOVE” in their outdoor sculpture gallery which features a lot of Burner Art.


Entrance to Paradise Ridge

Entrance to Paradise Ridge



Previously, they had burned a David Best Temple there. People (Burners?) knew to write notes on the Temple, without ever being told.


From The Daily Beast:

best temple paradise

David Best Creates a Temple Made of Memories Outside San Francisco

Most works of art convey a specific message from the artist. But at David Best’s new temple in Sonoma County, visitors help build the piece out of their own memories of love and loss.


What do we have, in the end, when a love has gone? When a person has left for good? All that was everything between two people—a romance, a friendship, or simply day-to-day life—disappears. Only our memories never leave. But what if we want them to?

These are the thoughts that might flood visitors to David Best’s Temple of Remembrance in a meadow on the grounds of Paradise Ridge Winery. Like a vaguely Asian-themed birdcage, the deceptively ingenious rusted lattice memorial to love and loss is part shrine, part interactive do-it-yourself art project, as light visually as it is heavy emotionally.

It’s a place to remember the people you’re carrying in your mind or your heart. You can scrawl something on a flat pebble and bury it in a bird-bath bowl, or send a message to them on a piece of cloth set aflutter in the wine country wind. And, in doing so, you release your own feelings, too.

Best and his crew helped put the “burning” in the Burning Man festival fourteen years ago when they built the massive Temple of the Mind memorial in Nevada’s desert, and then dedicated it to a friend who’d died before the event began. Droves of attendees streamed inside to vent their emotions over the course of several days. The structure ignited their passions, and then the creators ignited it.

The temple idea caught fire, and while that ephemeral tradition continues as an end-of-the-festival ritual each year, the new Temple of Remembrance, on a hillside in Sonoma County, is Best’s first constructed in steel and is permanent. It sits somewhere between Truth and Love (that’s not a metaphor, those are the names of two other large Burning Man sculptures relocated to the same grassy, oak-fringed field) in a place where—despite expansive tree and vineyard vistas—visitors will find themselves looking within.

While Best’s flammable work is fleeting, the changes people experienced inside seem to stick. Best recalls a grieving father confiding that a visit let him unlock the emotional door trapping his family in grief. “Our son is free now,’” Best remembers he said. It’s a reminder that the flip side of anger is love, isn’t that why we feel both so intensely?

Although Best doesn’t consider himself particularly spiritual, he has a sixth sense about what people need to heal emotionally, be it from a trauma or a lost love, or both.

“You have to provide a place where someone can feel private, yet safe. They can be there or run away, they are not locked in,” he says. Immediately after, as if to prove his non-guru bona fides, he mentions he’s putting the finishing touches on a hot rod to race at Bonneville.

[read more at the Daily Beast…]











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:

Hayam-Temple-by-Josh-Haywood-1 Hayam-Temple-by-Josh-Haywood-5 Hayam-Temple-by-Josh-Haywood-6 Hayam-Temple-by-Josh-Haywood-7 Hayam-Temple-by-Josh-Haywood Hayam-Temple-by-Josh-Haywood-4


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