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“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I will learn.” Xun Kuang (312-230 BC)

WeWantToLearn.net at Burning Man 2015 – A video by Freddie Barrie

“We believe that Architecture should be fun and in giving our students the opportunity to build projects in the real world. We want them to dare to be naïve, curious, and enthusiastic,  to think like makers and to act like entrepreneurs, creating an architecture of joy. Burning Man is the playground for our dreams.” Toby Burgess and Arthur Mamou-Mani, DS10 Studio Leaders, University of Westminster

Team: Toby Burgess and Arthur Mamou-Mani (tutors), Tobias Power (Designer of The Infinity Tree), Jon Leung (Designer of Bismuth Bivouac), Lorna Jackson (Designer of reflection), Maialen Calleja, Andrei Jipa, Josh Potter, Aaron Porterfield, Aigli Tsirogianni, Alex Fotherby, Andrew K Green, Ben Brakspear, Ben lloyd Goldstein, Charlotte Chambers, Deepak Krasner, Eira Mooney, Eliana Stenning, Elizabeth Ripps, Felix Thiodet, Garis Iu, Jack Hardy, Jasmine Low, Jon Goodbun, Lianne Clark, Maria Sobrino, Martin Brien, Matthew Lee, Michelle Tanya Barratt, Neale Shutler, Phil Olivier, Ricky Chandi, Sarah Stell, Toby Plunkett, Tom Jelley, Elan laplain, Innes Shelley, Jake Spruyt, James Abbott, Jasper Sauve, Joe Leach, Julian Sauve, Klina Jordan, Joshua de Matteo, Maria Vergopoulou, Kris Leung, Ben Metcalfe-Penny, Willem Ossorio, Sebastian Sauve, Tim Hornsby, Tim Martin

Engineers: Format Engineering (The Infinity Tree and Bismuth Bivouac) Price & Myers (Reflection)

Special Thanks: BettieJune Scarborough, Ben Stoelting, Brody Scotland, DaveX, Harry Charrington, Thomas Ermacora, Betty Lam and to all our Kickstarter Backers.

Here are some stills extracted from the video:

 

 

 

A quick update from Burning Man’s dusty “Playa” on which three Diploma Studio 10 students have built their academic projects together with a team of 60 volunteers from the University of Westminster and beyond. You can follow our Instagram account for more pictures of the journey and we will post more details and pictures on our return. Thank you so much for your support and hope that the projects will inspire you!

The Bismuth Bivouac Burning Man

The Bismuth Bivouac designed by fourth year student Jon Leung

 

The Infinity Tree designed by Tobias Power

The Infinity Tree designed by fourth year student Tobias Power

 

 

Reflection designed by fifth year graduate Lorna Jackson

Reflection designed by fifth year graduate Lorna Jackson

We had our final crit today! Great projects concluding our brief2B:Realize. Here are couple pictures. Thank you very much to our external critiques Daewha Kang (Associate Zaha Hadid Architects), Lawrence Friesen (GenGeo), Stephen Melville (Director Ramboll UK), James Solly (Buro Happold), Michael Clarke and to our colleagues Anna Liu and Roberto Botazzi.

Joe Leach's Burning Man Temple

Joe Leach’s Burning Man Temple

Joe Leach's Burning Man Temple

Joe Leach’s Burning Man Temple

Andrei Jippa's 3D printed fractal city

Andrei Jipa’s 3D printed fractal city

Andrei Jippa's 3D printed fractal city

Andrei Jipa’s 3D printed fractal city

Josh Haywood's Pop-Up Mosque in Trafalgar Square

Josh Haywood’s Pop-Up Mosque in Trafalgar Square

Garis Lu's Mont St-Michel's Chanting Bridge

Garis Lu’s Mont St-Michel’s Chanting Bridge

Lorna Jackson's Surreal Dali Museum

Lorna Jackson’s Surreal Dali Museum

Lorna Jackson's Surreal Dali Museum

Lorna Jackson’s Surreal Dali Museum

William Garforth-Bless'Bamboo Tower for the Damyang festival

William Garforth-Bless’Bamboo Tower for the Damyang festival

Charlotte Yates' London Fasion Festival Origami Catwalk

Charlotte Yates’ London Fasion Festival Origami Catwalk

Charlotte Yates' London Fasion Festival Origami Catwalk

Charlotte Yates’ London Fasion Festival Origami Catwalk

Sarah Stell's Zipped Building

Sarah Stell’s Zipped Building

Sarah Stell's Zipped Building

Sarah Stell’s Zipped Building

Georgia Collard-Watson's Burlesque Festival Pop-Up structure

Georgia Collard-Watson’s Burlesque Festival Pop-Up structure

Naomi Danos' joyful wall breaking media centre in Israel/Palestine

Naomi Danos’ joyful wall breaking media centre in Israel/Palestine

Jessica Beagleman's Kabbalah Centre

Jessica Beagleman’s Kabbalah Centre

George Guest's Fringe Festival Bridge

George Guest’s Fringe Festival Bridge

Sarah Shuttleworth's Promenade Concerts in Hyde Park

Sarah Shuttleworth’s Promenade Concerts in Hyde Park

Dhiren Patel's twisting hexagons bamboo structure for Durja Purja

Dhiren Patel’s twisting hexagons bamboo structure for Durja Purja

Mark Simpson's Artificial Diamond Funerarium

Mark Simpson’s Artificial Diamond Funerarium

We’re back from the desert! Very proud to have completed two beautiful projects at the Burning Man festival 2013 with our DS10 students and guests from the Architectural Association, Columbia University and UCL.

Credits to the team:

Team: Toby Burgess and Arthur Mamou-Mani a.k.a. Ratchet and Baby Cup (Project Directors), Thanasis Korras (Designer of Fractal Cult), Georgia Rose Collard-Watson (Designer of Shipwreck), Jessica Beagleman (Food & Meals), Natasha Coutts (Camp and Rentals), Sarah Shuttlesworth, Andy Rixson,  Luka Kreze, Tim Strnad, Philippos Philippidis, Nataly Matathias, Marina Karamali, Harikleia Karamali, Antony Joury, Emma Whitehead, , Jo Cook, Caitlin Hudson, Dan Dodds and Chris Ingram.

Engineers: Ramboll Computational Design (RCD) –  Stephen Melville, Harri Lewis, James Solly

Suppliers: Hess Precision (Plywood Laser Cutting), One-to-Metal, (Metal Punching and Folding), Safway (Scaffolding), West Coast Netting (Netting)

Special Thanks: BettieJune, Ben Stoelting, Kevin Meers, Caroline Holmes, Chloe Brubaker, Papa Bear,

Photos by Jo Cook, Arthur Mamou-Mani, Toby Burgess, Luka Kreze, Thanasis Korras, Antony Joury. 

Back view Just before burning Shipwreck

Back view Just before burning Shipwreck

Front view of the Fractal Cult timber pods and Scaffolding

Front view of the Fractal Cult timber pods and Scaffolding

Here are couple more pictures of the finished projects:

A view of the Shipwreck with the man and a fish Art Car

A view of the Shipwreck with the man and a fish Art Car

Enjoying the sun on the shipwreck - back view

Enjoying the sun on the shipwreck – back view

Three french burners on the hammock

Three french burners on the hammock

A burner relaxing on the Fractal Cult scaffolding

A burner relaxing on the Fractal Cult scaffolding

View of timber pods and festival in background

View of timber pods and festival inbackground

View of timber pods with shipwreck and man in background

View of timber pods with shipwreck and man in background

Interior of the Fractal Cult during Day time

Interior of the Fractal Cult during Day time

Fractal Cult at night time

Fractal Cult at night time

Some images of the construction of Shipwreck, from the collection of the pieces all the way to the assembly

The group in front of Shipwreck

The group in front of Shipwreck

Shipwreck building Burning Man 2013

Construction process, the shipwreck hammock cantilever being erected

Construction process, the shipwreck hammock cantilever being erected

A view of the construction before adding the hammock strips

A view of the construction before adding the hammock strips

Building the shipwreck - finishing the cave part.

Building the shipwreck – finishing the cave part.

All the Shipwreck parts unrolled on the desert floor before assembly

All the Shipwreck parts unrolled on the desert floor before assembly

The shipwreck flat packed in the 24ft truck.

The shipwreck flat packed in the 24ft truck.

Images of the construction process of Fractal Cult until the burn:

Burning Man 2013

Burning Fractal Cult in the Communal Burn

Toby, Luka and Tim assembling the scaffolding for Fractal cult

Toby, Luka and Tim assembling the scaffolding for Fractal cult

Fractal Cult's scaffolding assembly is based on this smaller physical model

Fractal Cult’s scaffolding assembly is based on this smaller physical model

The scaffolding being assembled in the middle of the pods

The scaffolding being assembled in the middle of the pods

Assembling the first pod

Assembling the first pod

The Fractal Cult pods being assembled.

The Fractal Cult pods being assembled.

Getting the ground anchors in for the pods

Getting the ground anchors in for the pods

Getting the scaffolding in the 24ft truck

Getting the scaffolding in the 24ft truck

Finally, how we made our camp look more like a home and less like a refugee camp:

Our camp as it looked at the end

Our camp as it looked at the end

Protecting ourselves from a dust storm!

Protecting ourselves from a dust storm!

Assembling the Hexayurts

Assembling the Hexayurts

The group in our kitchen

The group in our kitchen

One of our two food runs in Reno - Feeding 20 people in the desert.

One of our two food runs in Reno – Feeding 20 people in the desert.

Getting the camp from a lockup in Reno

Getting the camp from a lockup in Reno

A beautiful view of the festival itself at sunrise:

Burning Man Camps and Playa at Sunrise

Burning Man Camps and Playa at Sunrise

Here is a text that we wrote about the experience:

Diploma Studio 10:
Diploma Studio 10 at the University of Westminster is led by Toby Burgess and Arthur Mamou-Mani. They both believe that involvement is key to the process of learning and therefore always try to get their students to “get out and build” their designs in the real world. The studio starts the year with the study of systems, natural, mathematical and architectural systems of all sort, paired with intense software training in order to build up skills and a set of rules to design a small scale project which they will be able to build during a real event in the summer. Throughout the year, they build large scale prototypes and draw very accurate technical drawings, they also need to provide a budget and explain how it makes sense within the wider context of the festival, some of them will event start crowd-funding campaign to self-finance the projects. Our ultimate goal is to give them an awareness of entrepreneurship in Architecture and how to initiate projects as this is for us the best way to fight unemployment in our profession.
Burning Man and the 10 Principles:
The Burning Man festival takes place every summer in Black Rock desert, Nevada. It is a “participant-led” festival in which the activities are initiated by the people attending it. There are around 60,000 “burners” every year building a giant temporary city in which they create a social experiment which follows the 10 principles of Burning Man. They conclude the festival by burning a large sculpture of a Man.
What interested Toby and Arthur are the 10 principle which guide the “burners”: Radical Self-Reliance, Radical Inclusion, Gifting, Leaving No trace, to name a few. Designing with these rules in mind help students understand basic issues of sustainability. Designing for Burning Man also helps the students to design with “playfulness” in mind, as all the structures have to be climbable and interactive. We are not the only one inspired by these rules, Sergei Brin, co-founder of Google, asks all his staff to follow the principles when they come up with new ideas.
The Story:
On our first year at Westminster we found out that our student could submit their Burning Man proposals and receive a grant from the organizers. After receiving 20 submissions from the same school, the organizers were very intrigued and decided to contact us. The director of the Art Grant told us that she loved the project but that all of them were just not possible in the context. She decided to visit us in London to explain what we could do to submit better projects the following year which we did. On the second run, the festival chose two projects, Shipwreck by Georgia Rose Collard-Watson and Fractal Cult by Thanasis Korras.
These two projects are representative of the way we run our studio: Thanasis looked at Fractal on Brief01 and Georgia looked at ways to bend and assemble strips of wood together. They both explored these systems before submitting a project with a very strong narrative which fitted perfectly the burning man philosophy. Thanasis linked his Fractal to the symbol of “Merkaba” whereas Georgia told the story of a shipwreck which offered shelter from the dust storms.
Once the project got chosen, we partnered with an engineer, Ramboll and started researching for suppliers and fabrication facilities in the USA. We took the 3D files from concept all the way parametric models for fabrication. We started a Gantt chart with every step to take from rental of 24ft truck, collection of item all the way to demolition.
One of the main aspect that required a lot of planning was the camp. We had to plan every meal and food that would not perish under the extreme condition. We also found a way to rent a whole camp equipment from past burners.
On site:
The team grew little by little, many of our student could not afford the trip or could not take such a long time off so we asked around if anyone else would like to join us and thanks to our blog posts and active social networking online, students from the Architectural Association, Columbia or UCL started showing interest and joined the team.
Our first surprise on site was the power of the dust storm. One of our Yurt flew away and some of us got stuck in different places of the site seeking shelter. We were terrorised. Sleeping in tents was also extremely hard as you would be awaken by temperatures approaching 40degrees celcius, at the end of the construction, a lot of us would sleep in the foam hexayurts in which we were storing equipment at first.
We learned so much.

Thank you so much everyone – We received funding on Kickstarter You can still help us by donating on our Paypal button:

donate-with-paypal2

The past couple weeks since our last updates were very busy. We have sent all the fabrication files to our contact next to San Francisco. To make sure the files were alright we had several meetings with our engineers and made a lot of physical tests.

The team has shrunk so if you are keen to join us from the 18th August until the 6th September,you can email us at info@WeWantToLearn.net

A special thanks to Harri Lewis, Stephen Melville and James Solly from Ramboll Computational Design (RCD) for their precious help all along!

Here are couple updates on the projects:

SHIPWRECK

Shipwreck final files sent to fabrication - Updated Render - Note: The sail and light might change

Shipwreck final files sent to fabrication – Updated Render 1 – Note: The sail and light might change – File by Georgia Collard-Watson, Arthur Mamou-Mani , Chris Ingram and Toby Burgess

Shipwreck final files sent to fabrication - Updated Render - Note: The sail and light might change

Shipwreck final files sent to fabrication – Updated Render 2 – Note: The sail and light might change – File by Georgia Collard-Watson, Arthur Mamou-Mani , Chris Ingram and Toby Burgess

Shipwreck final files sent to fabrication - Updated Render - Note: The sail and light might change

Shipwreck final files sent to fabrication – Updated Render 3 – Note: The sail and light might change – File by Georgia Collard-Watson, Arthur Mamou-Mani , Chris Ingram and Toby Burgess

Shipwreck - Fabrication Files

Shipwreck – Fabrication Files – File by Georgia Collard-Watson, Arthur Mamou-Mani , Chris Ingram and Toby Burgess

6mm wood bending tests

6mm wood bending tests – Does it bend enough? Study by Georgia Collard-Watson

Maximum Radius on wood structure

Maximum Radius on wood structure – Study by Georgia Collard-Watson

Ramboll Structural Analysis - showing new location for  ropes

Ramboll Structural Analysis by Harri Lewis – showing new location for ropes

Ramboll Structural Analysis - showing new location for  ropes

Ramboll Structural Analysis by Harri Lewis – showing new location for ropes

FRACTAL CULT

Extract from the Fractal Cult Assembly Sequence by Dan Dodds after feedback from Harri Lewis

Extract from the Fractal Cult Assembly Sequence by Dan Dodds after feedback from Harri Lewis

Click Here to see the full Assembly Sequence Diagrams

Extract from the Fractal Cult Fabrication Files from Dan Dodds

Extract from the Fractal Cult Fabrication Files from Dan Dodds

Cost Savings - New dimensions of the Fractal Cult

Cost Savings – New dimensions of the Fractal Cult – Study by Thanasis Korras and Toby Burgess

Fractal Cult's new scale and new netting strategy

Fractal Cult’s new scale and new netting strategy – Study by Thanasis Korras and Toby Burgess

Fractal Cult's new scale and new netting strategy

Fractal Cult’s new scale and new netting strategy – – Study by Thanasis Korras and Toby Burgess

Fractal Cult scaffolding test model

Fractal Cult scaffolding test model – Study by Thanasis Korras and Toby Burgess

Fractal Cult scaffolding test model

Fractal Cult scaffolding test model – Study by Thanasis Korras and Toby Burgess

Toby presenting the Scaffolding Structure at Ramboll

Toby presenting the Scaffolding Structure at Ramboll – Picture taken by Harri Lewis