Dezeen Magazine

The best temporary structures from Burning Man festival 2016

The 2016 Burning Man festival is taking place this week in Nevada's Black Rock Desert, where New York-based creative director PieterJan Mattan has photographed his highlights from this year's event (+ slideshow).

Founded by Larry Harvey on a Californian beach in 1986, Burning Man now takes places each year on a vast desert plain in the USA.

"Burners" build artworks and structures at a variety of scales, trade with fellow attendees rather than purchasing goods, and cycle around instead of using cars.

The event, which takes place this year from 28 August to 5 September, climaxes with the cremation of an effigy and the dismantling of all the other temporary structures built across the stretch of arid land.

Mattan, who consults with a range of design and fashion brands, has attended the festival a couple of times and worked with sculptor Arne Quinze, who built a giant wooden pavilion at Burning Man in 2007.

This year, he travelled to the site early to capture the construction of the installations and Black Rock City, which becomes home to over 70,000 people for just over a week.

Mattan has taken a series of iPhone photographs documenting the city and vast desert "playa". His picks of the best temporary structures from this year are below:

Tangential Dreams by Arthur Mamou-Mani

Tangential Dreams by Arthur Mamou-Mani at Burning Man 2016

Tangential Dreams is a climbable sinuous tower made from off-the-shelf timber and digitally designed via algorithmic rules.

Around 1,000 "tangent" thin wooden pieces are held in position via horizontal pieces rotating along a central axis, gently moving in the wind like leaves of a giant tree.

Horizontal Lines by Tyler Buckheim

Horizontal Lines by Tyler Buckheim

At first look, Horizon Lines appears to be a cluster or "forest" of 25 wooden posts rising out of the Playa.

A portion of the posts are painted black, visually aligning with the horizon and mountain range behind it.

Catacomb of Veils by Dan Sillivan and the Catacomb Crew

Catacomb of Veils by Dan Sillivan and the Catacomb Crew

Here still under construction, Catacomb's double pyramid rises like a rocky outcropping off the desert floor, evoking Black Rock Point itself.

It is a ruin of a previous society – a remnant of our collective search for moments of quiet, introspection and reflection. It is a journey of discovery and a descent into a subterranean world.

The Space Whale by The Pier Group

The Space Whale by The Pier Group

In this picture, an art car drives by The Space Whale, a 50-foot-tall (15 metres) full-scale crystalline humpback whale mother and calf diving through the sky built from steel and stained glass.