DANGER! Burning Man Festival, Nevada, US
Concept and Planning stage 2017
Burning Man festival’s atmosphere is one of ‘Danger’ where love and fire are symbolised and celebrated. During the festival, visitors and locals come together as a community to create an atmosphere of love and danger in one place. Festival-goers express their love of nature and people via the symbolic structures erected at the festival. They then delight in the displays of these same structures being set alight!
DANGER! is a design of a substantial platform to be used at the festival as a form of ‘usable’ decoration. It is designed to reveal create two different shadows depending on the time of day. The first is that of a heart and the second is a triangle (the former symbolising love and the latter triangle being the alchemical symbol of Fire).
Interaction with the Sun:
The Sun rises at 7am and brings daylight that meets the array of equilateral triangles raised on posts, the configuration of which will produce heart-shaped shadow at one end of the DANGER! platform.Why make this shadow appear at 7am? It is a time when participants in Burning Man may join together to witness the sun rise above the mountains on the East side of the zone. Also, it is the time when yoga and meditation classes begin.
Visitors are welcome to gather at either of the opposing platform, and enjoy the heat of the Nevada Desert before the time at which the second shadow is formed. At 5pm the Sun will move into the position that generating the shadow of the triangle. This will be formed on the opposing platform to the one where the heart symbol could be seen at 7am (this platform has the symbol of Burning Man depicted on it) and will announce the beginning of the other large structures being set alight; the festival’s climax. Evening time is when everyone gets ready for the start of the main part of the festival which sees an array of effigies set on fire.
Digital Design to Physical Modelling:
DANGER! started life as a series of sketches. Subsequently, the concept was modelled using the software ‘Rhinoceros 3D’. The topography modelling was conducted using the ‘Grasshopper’ visual programming language and environment that runs within the Rhinoceros 3D software. A physical mould of the platforms was created with a CNC machine and the rest of the model was created by hand.
The DANGER! platforms are for the attendees of the festival to use. People can congregate on or near them and couples can wander over to them if they want a more intimate setting where they can experience the sunrise together. They can also be used as a meeting point for groups when members decide to temporarily separate and explore the festival.