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Burning Man, Urban Plan: Black Rock City Calls for Design Ideas

Burning Man, Urban Plan:
Black Rock City Calls for Design Ideas

by TODD STOLARSKI | Aug 17, 2015

For nearly 30 years, the week-long Burning Man festival has forged a certain niche within the global creative community. Even some of Silicon Valley's biggest names have made Nevada's pop-up Black Rock City an annual Labor Day staple. For instance, Google Alphabet's Larry Page and Sergey Brin have attended for more than a decade, and Tesla's man of the moment, Elon Musk, is also regular.

Full circle. Black Rock City during Burning Man, 2014.

Full circle. Black Rock City during Burning Man, 2014.

This summer, even as it continues to prepare for its fast-approaching 2015 event, the Black Rock City Ministry of Urban Planning (BRCMUP) has launched an international design competition to devise a new master plan for the 2017 Festival. BRCMUP has issued an open call to redesign this temporary city, which has remained unchanged since 1997. The current design "has served the community very well, but by creating new city plans, we can create a new world every year," explains the ministry on its website.

Now underway, the contest is open to the public, with the First Round of the competition set to take place October 1st through December 31. There are few limitations, but the pentagonal boundaries of previous years should be followed and, with the capacity now reaching upwards of 70,000 people, accessibility for emergency services is of the utmost concern. Beyond that, The Man and The Temple will remain the chosen plan's main focus.

Stated clearly on the competition's website, "Urban planning is just as much a form of art as sculpture, so why not explore what is possible? Who knows what weird and amazing city is waiting to be born?"

With the 2015 edition taking place in only a few weeks, the winning design won't be seen in the Nevada desert until 2017, at the earliest.

Below, check out a gallery of Black Rock City designs from 2005, and Burning Man images from 2014.
For more on the design competition, head here.

2005 Black Rock City designs by Lisa Hoffman

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