Galaxia: The 2018 Temple

Burning Man Arts is thrilled to announce that we have selected the 2018 Temple: Galaxia by Arthur Mamou-Mani!

The Design

Galaxia celebrates hope in the unknown, stars, planets, black holes, the movement uniting us in swirling galaxies of dreams. A superior form of Gaia in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, Galaxia is the ultimate network, the fabric of the universe connecting living beings into one entity.

Galaxia is shaped of 20 timber trusses converging as a spiral towards one point in the sky. The triangular trusses form different paths towards a central space holding a giant 3D printed mandala, the heart of Galaxia. The timber modules start large enough to hold small alcoves in which people can write in peace. As participants walk through the path, the timber modules lift up and become thinner and thinner towards the sky as people reach the central mandala.

The Artists

Arthur Mamou-Mani is a London-based French architect and director of Mamou-Mani Architects, which specializes in a new kind of digitally designed and fabricated architecture. He is a professor at the University of Westminster and owns a digital fabrication laboratory called the Fab.Pub.

For the past six years, he and his Masters of Architecture students at the University of Westminster in London’s WeWantToLearn studio (with Toby Burgess) have been bringing art installations to Black Rock City: Shipwreck, Fractal Cult, Hayam Sun Temple, The Infinity Tree, Reflections, Bismuth Bivouac, and Tangential Dreams, which won the prestigious Architizer A+ Award in architecture in 2016.

Arthur is an advocate for a new approach to architecture in which the architect is also the maker. Sounds like a perfect fit for Burning Man, right? His work matches 3D modeling tools like Rhinoceros and Grasshopper 3D with fabrication tools like laser cutters and 3D printers. By encouraging his students to design and build art installations at Burning Man, they are able to receive on-site mentorship and unique hands-on building experience that isn’t available in a university context.

This relationship between Westminster and Burning Man speaks to the growing relationships we are building worldwide with schools of architecture and urban planners. Black Rock City is, in fact, a city — a place where we create spaces for human experiences and provide opportunities for learning. We’re also excited to have an international Temple as a reflection of the increasingly global nature of our community.

How You Can Get Involved

Building the Black Rock City Temple is a significant undertaking. It’s also a chance to realize a dream and create a space for thousands of participants to have meaningful experiences.

Interested in joining the Temple Crew? While Arthur and his team already have some roles filled, they will be looking to the community to help bring the Temple to life. The build is planned to take place primarily in Reno, and interested folks from other locations can get involved, too. We expect a call for volunteers to come sometime in the spring.

Building the Temple is a big financial commitment, and the grant covers a portion of the total expenses. If you’re looking to make a year-end tax deductible donation, we’re pleased to share that Burning Man Project is fiscally sponsoring this year’s Temple project. Please visit their fundraising site If you’re interested in contributing.

About the author: Katie Hazard

Katie Hazard

Katie Hazard (yes that’s her real last name) is the Associate Director of Art Management for Burning Man. She leads the selection, placement, and installation of over 400 artworks annually in Black Rock City and beyond. She’s been passionate about arts administration and grants management for many years; she has a degree in Art History from the University of Notre Dame, worked at the Art Institute of Chicago, and spent 10 years at Harvard University as a Senior Grants Manager. Katie’s first year on playa was 2000, and she volunteered for 10 years (DMV, Man Base Lighting, art build crews, theme camp organization, Fire Conclave) before joining the staff in 2013. Katie is also a certified yoga teacher and has been a practitioner of Buddhist meditation for more than a decade.

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