Black Rock City. NV

“Many years ago, I read an article by an Architect who advocated removing all building codes, stating that they regiment construction materials and practices, while disallowing individual expression. People would be allowed to invent and express themselves in constructing their houses. Should the structure fall on their heads, they would tend to survive – and do better the next time. An outrageous idea at the time, but now he would simply be describing Burning Man.” Rod Garret, 2007.

Thirty five years after the first publication of Venturi’s Learning From Las Vegas, it is fitting that we should once again turn our gaze to Nevada as an unlikely source for lessons and inspiration in the fields of urbanism and architecture. Dancing that fine line between subculture obscurity and pop phenomenon, Burning Man is poised to affect real change in our world. ‘Elevation’ is a 30m tall interactive sculpture erected in the desert as part of the 2008 Burning Man festival. This temporary installation, constructed of hollow steel sections, invites the participant to ask of themselves fundamental architectural questions - where is my place in this landscape and how do I relate to my community?

Artist: Michael Christian, Oakland CA
Collaborator: Matthew Stanley