The Big Reveal ~ We Have 21 Visions and We Had to Pick One ~ Announcing the 2024 Man Pavilion

Inspired by the year’s theme, the Man Pavilion serves as the base upon which the Man will rise, and functions as a playful gathering and happening space for Black Rock citizenry. In recent years we’ve collaborated with artists in the Burning Man community to design Black Rock City’s Man Pavilion. 

And the 2024 Man Pavilion is… we’re not going to tell you yet but stay tuned! 

This year we had 18 artists submit design concepts — and some submitted more than one — so we ended up with 21 designs to review, discuss, and ultimately select the Man Pavilion for 2024. 

This piece will take you on a journey of exploration through all the groovy submissions we received. Then we’ll introduce you to the design that we chose. Are you feeling Curiouser and Curiouser?

Let’s review the rules of the road first — we invite a few artists (this year more than a few) to dream with us about what the Man Pavilion might be. We share and discuss the Man as a destination, a wayfinding landmark, a gathering place, a symbol — both to represent the theme and as a space for the community, including ways to interact. We do not ask artists to give us full renderings; a sketch, or a concept will do, but the more they can tell us about their design, the greater the chance we can build it! 

When a decision is made we take it and run with it — animating and collaborating and dreaming away about all the ways Black Rock citizens will inhabit and enjoy the pavilion this year! 

We love reviewing these designs and we think you will too! They are the work of the imagination and dedication of 18 wildly inventive artists. We invite you to enjoy their ideas and perhaps look for their contact information at the end of each post to find out more about them and their art!

Away we go! Walker Babington’s “Stack the Deck” and Steve Brummond’s “Unstable” are two submissions that play with the imagery of a ‘house of cards’ and speak to instability as their conceptual premise while also making a nod to playing cards in the tale we all know so well! These designs are thoughtful, fun, and appealing.

NiNo’s “Man Hatter” picks up on the play and wordplay of the storyworld, and also weaves in the playing card motif. With a wink, he suggests you never really know what will emerge from a magician’s hat — much like you never know what you will encounter in Black Rock City.

“Man Hatter” by Nino

NiNo paired up with Gio Mantis for this submission and continued down the magical path with this whimsical ode to transformation through mushrooms! Called the “Canopy of Transformation” they play with size and scale and give us this ethereal take on the world through mushrooms… as did Michael Garlington with this fanciful and fantastic garden view of the Man.

“Canopy of Transformation” by NiNo and Gio Mantis
By Michael Garlington

While we’re talking ‘shrooms, let’s take a look at what David Normal proposed: geodesic-dome-meets-viewing-platform-meets-projection-surface — all in the shape of… a mushroom!

By David Normal

And finally, in the category of mushrooms we find ourselves in this incredible world of luminous and lovely fungi with Leeroy New and Jan Leba’s offering called, “Mount Mycelium, Fungi Fort.” In their words, “The design proposal depicts the Man atop a structure that represents the complex and curious world of mycelium networks.”

“Mount Mycelium” by Leeroy New and Jan Leba

We love curiosities. This submission from David Oliver takes us through multiple portals on a journey of wonders and dimensions where you never know what you might find. Choose an opening, find out what’s on the other side! 

By David Oliver

This brings us to the remarkable talents of Zulu Heru who chose to let the imagination flow into three different paths and provided us with a peek into a Top Secret Man Base of rooms and rooms within rooms — even a bathtub! All is wrapped into a playful game plan for participants.

Zulu Heru followed up this deconstructed streamlined design with a simple pavilion lifting towards the sky and this beautiful nod to the mystery of labyrinths.

This next one is from Tyler FuQua, who uses the labyrinth as a symbol for exploration and curiosity. He offered us this Neil Degrasse Tyson quote for inspiration: “Kids are born curious… You’re plucking leaves off of trees and petals off of flowers, looking inside, and you’re doing things that create disorder in the lives of the adults around you. And so then what do adults do? They say, ‘Don’t pluck the petals off the flowers. I just spent money on that. Don’t play with the egg. It might break. Don’t….’ We spend the first year teaching them to walk and talk and the rest of their lives telling them to shut up and sit down. So you get out of their way. And you know what you do? You put things in their midst that help them explore.”

We can follow this windy road of exploration into a series of spirals, swirling spaces and ethereal, lofty designs from Julia Nelson-Gal’s “Play – Wonder – Awe,” Paige Tashner’s “Feed Curiosity” (a homage to S.T.E.A.M.) and Dana Albany’s two beautiful towers of wonder and worlds to wander through. 

Moving even further into the land of the whimsical we are excited to share with you Hind Baghdadi’s deep dive into the inner workings of clocks, the windings and turnings of a labyrinth and play with the idea of “Time: The Illusion,” as she calls her design.

“Time: The Illusion” by Hind Baghdadi

And now we turn to the great structural visionaries among us: with Michael Christian’s sculptural sensibility and Escheresque take on a puzzle experience as pavilion; Lew Zaumeyer’s vertical take on a labyrinth, which he titles “Gratitude,” each level representing stages of life; and the incredible team of Wes Modes and Lauren Benz, of “Black Rock Station,” who gave us an otherworldly view into an airy courtyard surrounded by small places to gather and be together.

Which brings us to the selected Man Pavilion design for 2024. Jen Lewin gave us an elegant work of art, which she calls “The Other.” She writes: “The Other features eight gracefully curved, canyon-shaped tentacles that wind as stairways and ramps, each leading to an upper and lower vantage point. Moving around the work, participants can gaze outward and inward, viewing The Man, The City, and each other.” 

“The Other” by Jen Lewin
“The Other” by Jen Lewin
“The Other” by Jen Lewin
“The Other” by Jen Lewin

Her design includes benches and chambers to feature other artists’ work, opportunities of light and shadow play, and an extraordinary creation of space within the curvature of the structure. Sweetly evocative of both distance and intimacy, we will be able to look out across the landscape, and nestle within the embrace of the overall structure. We invite you to join us and see how this lovely artwork becomes animated through the creative and logistical magic of our Man Pavilion team!

For information about the above artists please see:

Walker Babington — @SabatomStudios

Steve Brummond — @steven.brummond

NiNo — @leaveittonino |

Gio Mantis — @giomantis |

Michael Garlington —

David Normal —

Leeroy New and Jan Leba — @newleeroy

David Oliver — @davidoliver_ | @bea.con8

Zulu Heru@zulu.heru |

Tyler FuQua — @tyfu | 

Julia Nelson-Gal —

Paige Tashner — @lasereyesoflove | @trustcatart |

Dana Albany —

Hind Baghdadi Lady Gaia Collection — @ladygaiacollection 

Michael Christian — @michaelchristianart |

Wes Modes and Lauren Benz –

Jen Lewin — @jenlewinstudio |

Cover image of selected 2024 Man Pavilion design by Jen Lewin

About the author: Kim Cook

Kim Cook

Kim Cook is Burning Man's Director of Creative Initiatives. She works on the frontier of exploration for projects and collaborations that extend Burning Man culture into the world. Most recently, Cook facilitated the team for "virtual Burning Man 2020" with 10 technology platform partners offering a range of digital, dynamic, and interactive approaches to the "Multiverse". She successfully builds urban, regional, national, and international projects that increase mutual understanding, advance civic well being, elevate cultural engagement, and further the aesthetic design elements of communities.

15 Comments on “The Big Reveal ~ We Have 21 Visions and We Had to Pick One ~ Announcing the 2024 Man Pavilion

  • LadyBee says:

    THanks ever so much for showing us all the man base designs – wonderful! And a first, I believe. Well done!

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  • Twirl says:

    I love the chosen design, and my other #1 would have been the mycelium. Gorgeous!

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      That intricate Mount Mycelium and Mount Mycelium Fungi Fort designs are amazing. They would’ve been epic. However, the chosen design “The Other” is so grand I can’t complain!

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  • Rev Dusty says:

    It must have been really hard to pick one from such a great selection of submissions. Really excited to experience it!

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  • Bob Knoll says:

    This is a great review, just wonderful concepts. Thank you for your dedication in such a demanding task. But I must offer, eight spiraling staircases to platforms of different heights ?, I know I must be missing “it”. I was so looking forward to experiencing Mycelium! That is only a fat old man’s perspective. Se la vie. Not to say I won’t be looking forward to experiencing the final product of your very difficult choice. Congrats on a job “well done”.

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  • Jules Nelson-Gal says:

    So impressed with many of these designs and I love the chosen one! Fun!

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  • Speckles says:

    I wouldn’t be able to choose! They’re all amazing.

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  • Gerflash says:

    All beautiful! Kinda makes me think that one of them might already pass as the solution for 2025, depending on next year’s theme!

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  • Sylvia says:

    I would hate to be the one to choose. So many brilliant ideas! Too bad there can only be one man.

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  • Mohra Gavankar says:

    You picked my favorite. SO delighted. Simple, elegant and functional too.

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  • Valerie Micham says:

    I love it .. the way you wind up and then the man’s arms open up to the endless Universe … diggin’ it!

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  • Mitzi says:

    So interesting to see what people have come up with. Each has something to love. I personally love the labyrinth idea, and i do love the varying heights of the chosen one. My only hesitation with the chosen design stems from accessibility issues for some burners. Not everyone is going to be able to ascend those stairs.

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  • Richard Felix says:

    Excellent choice.. . all for the other..

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  • Jato.cheko says:

    They have presented excellent works and the final selection is unique. I would like to know if I can present you a proposal for 2025.

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