Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Lange crowdfund for huge mirrored sphere at Burning Man
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Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Lange crowdfund for huge mirrored sphere at Burning Man

BIG architects Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Lange have launched a money-raising campaign to install a huge, inflatable mirrored sphere at this year's Burning Man festival, and are offering "juicy perks" in return for donations.

Launched on crowdfunding website Indiegogo, the campaign by the BIG founder and one of his firm's partners aims to raise $50,000 (£37,907) over the next two months for a "giant reflective art piece" called The Orb.

 

If achieved, it will be erected at the playa of the Burning Man festival, which takes place in the Nevada desert in late August. So far, a total of $1,610 (£1,218) has been raised by nine backers.

Anchored to the ground by a 32-metre inclined steel mast, the balloon would inflate to one 500,000th the size of the earth's surface, and measure nearly 100 feet (30 metres) in diameter.

The Orb by Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Lange

It is shown in renderings as a guiding beacon for revellers at the festival, reflecting crowds during the day and glowing at night from lights placed underneath.

"The Orb is a mirror for earth lovers – reflecting the passing daytime, evolving life and other art works beneath it – a new planet to sci-fi fans, a wayfinder for travellers or just a huge disco ball to those who love a good party," reads the Indiegogo page.

"Visible from most of the playa, it will help Burners navigate the desert and find way."

The Orb by Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Lange

As explained on the fundraising page, the design appears simple but in fact "hides a lot of complexity and effort", which boosts the cost of production.

Ingels, Lange and their group of architects and artists have already financed much of the project themselves, sourcing 30 tonnes of steel, commissioning 1,000 hours of welding and sewing 2,000 square metres of reflective material.

Additional funds will help cover the cost of a baseplate, mast, foundation anchors and fans for inflating the balloon.

The Orb by Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Lange

Ingels and Lange have crowdfunded in the past. In 2015, they sourced funds for an ambitious smoke-ring-blowing chimney at a Copenhagen power plant.

This time they're enticing backers with rewards including a set of 10 postcards depicting the design, for a $50 donation (£37), a small engraved sphere, for $100 (£75), and a private visit inside the Orb, for $5,000 (£3,800).

The Orb by Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Lange

Burning Man 2018 takes place from 26 August to 3 September. The festival, whose founder Larry Harvey passed away this year, attracts 70,000 visitors annually, and its community is responsible for building an array of elaborate structures.

In a past interview with Dezeen, Harvey explained how the temporary settlement was designed as a city.

The Orb by Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Lange

Installations at last year's event included an artificial tree illuminated with "light flocks" by Studio Drift and many more freestanding installations and artworks. Some of these were captured by architects and designers in attendance, including Ingels.

Each festival also includes a main temple that will ultimately be sent up in flames. This year's is being designed by French architect Arthur Mamou-Mani and will comprise a spiralling wooden structure.

More images

The Orb by Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Lange
Diagram of night lights
The Orb by Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Lange
Reflection diagram
The Orb by Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Lange
The Orb on the playa
The Orb by Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Lange