Proposal | 2011


Design & computation: MARC FORNES :: THEVERYMANY™ ©2011



Edifices of Art are the cultural and communal vessels of our time. Public spaces, galleries, art houses and installations are all places where ideas and the temperament of critical eras present and past are celebrated. They also serve as a reservoir for cultural exchange, public social interaction and constructive education. Burning Man offers a unique opportunity for experimentation in large scale and unconventional architecture. The design proposal ‘Aesthetic for Unlikely Futures’ is a vessel frozen in time, generating 3Dimensional spaces of unrest and opportunities. The installation is motivated and brought to action by a determined interest in art and science and the philosophical life of the Burning Man community in which it is situated.



Feeling and Interaction - Architecture, as a disciplinary synthesis of Art, Science and Culture, has always been an important medium to express concepts and ideas for future generations. The combination of these disciplines has been of remarkable importance at each turn in history, and the ‘Aesthetic for Unlikely Futures’ project is a representative of this remarkable legacy and it’s unpredictable, yet assuredly rich, future. The installation revokes qualitative combinations of sensation, feeling, and interaction. Like a cultural catalysts, the installation defines space, engages the community in several operations, creating an aura and presence of mystical diversity in the Black Rock Desert .



Ideology and Making - The topological form of the installation is informed through parameters of dynamic, construction, and eloquence. The formulation and transition of the many parts within the installation ranging from smaller scale to large scale components, allow a playful visual experience, but also ideological participation with the event. The process of the creating art is an experiment in which we would like to explore a community driven process of ‘making’. The project raises questions on how and what a group of individuals can develop in a short period of time with basic set of rules and pre-determined geometries to build a meaningful experience.

Community and Education - We will involve a community of architecture students to assist with the construction and assembly of our project. By assisting, students gain invaluable hands on building experience which is in contrast to their usual academic curriculum. This important experience of ‘making things’, will allow students to be confronted with real-world problems faced by architects and designers on a daily basis. Participants will learn and integrate several methods of ‘Design Thinking’ which includes how to define, research, generate, review, implement and analyze, creative solutions to solve these problems. Students will explore, enhance, and train their skills, creativity, and interest in conceptual thinking and making. Involvement and introduction to this project will rely on principles of effort, participation and responsibility.



‘Aesthetic for Unlikely Futures’ is based on the principle of individuality and an assemblage of many parts. The concept reflects an inhabitable organic tree shaped network inspired by Biomimicry situated in the Black Rock Desert. The installation is perceived as a non-linear system found throughout nature, and giving rise to new phenomena and are rooted in our society challenging cultural understanding, communal engagement and social aspiration.



Phenomena and Possibilities - Situated within its spiritual environment of the site, the project is also a surface of gesture of dialectic terrains within the community effectively creating a multi-faceted, powerful object in the Black Rock Desert. The project is a public object that will be understood and cherished as an art piece that melds and celebrates the notion of containment and the display of beauty, ideas, polemics and, above all, possibility. The form of the installation has been designed with extreme control over light, form and spatiality. The projects surfaces and volumetric qualities are shaped based on perfomative aspects to allow light, views and the external and internal worlds to invade one another.



Spatial Qualities and Gesture - In daylight the installation appears almost as a seamless volume, unified and porous at the same time. Implementing a very high level of fabrication intelligence and performance criteria, the interior spaces offer multiple external views and ambiances which invade the project’s inner sanctums with a high degree of control. The project assumes an elegant, sculptural presence on its site and communicates, in a respectful manner, to other installations nearby. The openings within the surface allow movement and motion of visitors and the light from the interior spaces to be exposed, thereby animating the installations exterior space as well.



Harmony and Expression - The structure is made out of wooden stripes forming a continuous envelope which is essentially made of two visually disparate, yet harmonic plywood surfaces. The two surfaces of the installation, the passive natural exterior and colorful interior, form a provocative union of visual parameters that serve as a reminder of the importance of cultural expression and democratic reconciliation. Accessibility is provided though three main entrances which join it the center. Several vertical orientated wall-like surfaces, formed by a structural lattice are creating an provoking parcour environment, allowing inhabitants to move through the space, explore, play, gather, or tranquil between formed spaces. As the installation grows vertically into the air, the plywood network is gently merging into three chimneys and starts framing views into the sky and pointing toward the stars.



Celebration and Communication - At night and during the dark veil of the desert lights, the structure illuminates with many point light sources forming a new network of information and engagement which glances through the inner structure. The inspirational idea for the lighting concept is based on a celebration towards the glowing effect of a traditional Chinese lantern. During daytime, the surface of the construct will appear to shimmer in sunlight like a distant Fata Morgana. It is only when one approaches the structure that people will realize the complex body of the installation and what material properties are actually causing the shimmering effects.