How to Build a Burning Man

There are countless colorful rumors surrounding the creation of the Burning Man: That it can be ordered, in kit form, from Home Depot, provided you know a top-secret SKU#. That it has been fabricated entirely by machines since 1998. That Burning Men are constructed overseas, in bulk, and that at any given time there are several dozen of them stored in a warehouse in Wadsworth.

The truth, as many participants witnessed at last year’s event, is that that the Man is created just like every other work of art at Burning Man: by hand, and through the combined talents and dedication of a diverse team of artists, engineers and craftspeople. Every year our team, known as the Man Krew, gathers at Black Rock Station (Burning Man’s Nevada work ranch) to once again create this sculpture that is so central to our event. Now, thanks to the Burning Blog, we are able to share this process with the greater community. We’ll be posting Krew updates during the initial building of the Man all the way through to his erection in Black Rock City, and ultimately, the burn itself.

About the author: Aaron Muszalski

Aaron Muszalski

Aaron Muszalski (aka Slim) is an artist, photographer, and lifelong explorer of liminal spaces. As a member of DPW’s Man Crew, Aaron has helped design and build The Man since 2007. He is also an experienced startup founder (Threadable, acq.) and a Y Combinator alumnus. In January of 2016 Aaron was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. 2017 was his 23rd year attending Burning Man. In his own words, he is “not just surviving cancer, but surpassing it.”

One comment on “How to Build a Burning Man

  • Jesse Firelight says:

    Thank you for clearing that up. I truly can’t believe that there are some that trully believe that. Imagine the machine that would be required to produce a mass-produced Man. With the time and money that would be required to manufacture such a machine. We could have build several dozen Burning Men.

    Keep up the great work, and thank you to all of the Krew, Rangers, Etc. that helped to rebuild the Man and guard it. Sad that I am now locking my stuff up due to the amount of disrespect for others property that is occuring on the playa. Lock it up especially during the burn when there are few people in camp to see what is going on.

    Peace and Love,


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