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


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.

Larry Harvey in The Independent

Burning Man founder Larry Harvey has given a brief interview to Britain’s The Indpendent newspaper. It’s fairly juicy, managing in a single page to combine tales of child abuse, drug addiction, and necromancy. Hey, he said it, not me!

royal-festival-hall_0Larry’s in the UK for the BAM! (Being A Man) festival, which runs at the Southbank Centre from Jan 31 until February 2. The Southbank Centre is on the Thames river in London, and was called “Britain’s leading arts institution” by the Daily Telegraph.

You can catch Larry’s panel discussion at 11:15am on Saturday Feb 1, it’s £12 for a day pass.

Here’s the story from The Independent (emphasis mine):

Wilderness environments bring out the best in people At Burning Man [the annual week-long cultural event , held in Black Rock Desert, Nevada , which Harvey co-founded in 1986], people come to survive in an extreme environment, and as you’re all in the same boat, you bond. There was a fellow who came out a few years ago, a wealthy lawyer, who brought all this newly bought high-end survival kit, laying everything out along the floor. Then a wind came and whipped them into oblivion; he had a nervous breakdown. But a giant dust storm brings home everyone’s mortality, and you come together: replacement items began to appear. He was overwhelmed by other people’s kindness.

I was raised to be radically self-reliant I was raised on a farm; my parents were farmers, though my father was a carpenter by trade. He regarded any unnecessary conversation as mouth-flap. I would have put my arm in a fire to get praise from my parents but I never felt I pleased him. But what I learnt to do was stand on my own two feet.

Being adopted means missing a level of intuitive rapport with your family Of course plenty of biological offspring say they feel no connection to their parents, but being adopted for me meant that substrate feeling of “I am you” was lacking. Years later, my brother, who was also adopted, and I both admitted how we felt like exchange students: everyone treated us well, but we didn’t quite fit or belong.

My son was the perfect miracle to me Being adopted meant I’d never met anyone genetically connected to me. My son had this look as a baby, a sort of “You will respect my boundaries.” People who came up to hold him would get this look and I thought, “Oh my god, that’s the look I’ve given people my whole life.” It was so deeply affirming and reassuring to see it. Though of course he wasn’t me at all; that’s the big mistake that parents make.

Sometimes children ask for more than you have to give I raised my son as a single father and one night I remember being alone with him as he cried and cried, and couldn’t be comforted. His need seemed to be devouring me and I surrendered to a very angry impulse: I tossed him three feet into this closet filled with wall-to-wall mattresses. It was a shocking act, and there’s no social reward for confessing being enraged by a baby.

The dead don’t really die They linger on as part of you. Once when I was repainting a friend’s house, I summoned up my father’s presence and talked to him. I wasn’t hallucinating and he wasn’t there, but somehow, pouring out all this grief, disappointment and yearning, I was able to talk to him in a way that I never could when he was alive.

I can’t write without the help of tobacco Somehow the chemistry of tobacco got mixed up in my addictive compulsion to write during my teen years, so when I quit smoking for eight months last year, I couldn’t write one line. I had to postpone every writing job I had until I brought back the cigarettes.

Freud is one of my heroes I started reading his work while going through something of a midlife crisis and each night I’d look down at his photo on the inside flap for 10 to 15 minutes: even through the dry rhetoric and his speciality in narcissistic illness, I’d see this benevolent-looking figure with white hair and he became the father I didn’t quite have: it was classic transference.

Perhaps Larry’s attempt to quit smoking, and the impairment to his creativity caused by that, explains the long delay in announcing this year’s theme and ticket prices?