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Design contest launched for Burning Man festival site plan

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The Black Rock City Ministry of Urban Planning has opened an international competition to redesign the Burning Man festival site plan

The contest seeks ‘new spatial and geometric possibilities’ for the experimental art gathering which is held every year in northern Nevda’s Black Rock Desert.

Originally located on San Francisco’s Baker Beach, the festival relocated to its current site in 1991 where it is arranged as a series of concentric streets in an arc (pictured).

At the centre of the 2.4-km diameter circle is a human effigy which is burned long with a nearby ‘temple’ structure at the closing of the event.

According to the brief: ‘Every year there is a new theme, new art, and new people, but the city plan is always the same.

‘The existing plan has served the community very well, but by creating new city plans, we can create a new world every year.

‘Urban planning is just as much a form of art as sculpture, so why not explore what is possible?’

Proposals must keep the effigy and temple as a central focus of the plan and include large open areas for art installations.

Layouts should also be easily navigable for participants and emergency services.

First stage entries must include a single page illustration and short statement explaining the proposal. A public vote will then select ten entries to proceed to the next phase.

During the second stage competitors will develop detailed street level designs covering traffic flow, logistics, and safety considerations.

Following an additional public vote the finalist designs will be presented to the Burning Man management team for review and exhibited at next year’s festival.

The winning design is expected to be used for the 2017 event.

The deadline for submissions is 31 December.




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