Building a city in the middle of nowhere
Living in a temporary camp under the scorching sun, heavy winds and the omnipresent desert sand doesn’t sound too desirable at first. But if you consider the time there as an urban experiment–one that integrates you into an artistic community building a temporary city–the balking fades.
Each year around 50,000 participants set out to become part of a momentary community in the harsh living conditions of a Nevada desert. Towards the end of summer, the Burning Man Festival lures crowds to the Black Rock Desert, USA. The participants create Black Rock City, a town that vanishes after just one week and is then rebuilt each year. In this urban experiment the citizens form solo and communal camps; some are the fruit of yearlong preparation, while others are last minute improvisations.
Leaving nothing behind when they pack up is one of these core principles and one of the most intriguing parts of the event. Thinking of an ephemeral city, heaps of trash spring to mind; festivals often mean destruction and soiling of nature. But the Burning Man Festival is impressive in its departure from this norm. After seeing the amazing architecture the community creates, it is almost unimaginable that it disappears after seven days.