Three years since it last announced a new physical structure, the temple for this year’s Burning Man, called Temple of the Heart has been revealed as an “upside-down desert flower”, designed by Ela Madej and Reed Finlay. This shared community space is vital to Black Rock City, the Nevada locale where the festival is held each year. The temple is a “neutral, non-denominational spiritual space” that invites attendees to remember the past, acknowledge the present, and dream of the future.
Temple of the Heart will be designed to resemble an “upside-down desert flower”
2023’s temple will be designed to resemble an “upside-down desert flower,” according to a blog post written by Katie Hazard, the associate director of art management for Burning Man. ”Selecting the Temple for Black Rock City is a uniquely challenging decision. We look for a design with a strong visual impact that can serve as a meaningful space to hold the full range of our community’s experiences and offerings. There are both conceptual and practical considerations. Is the Temple creative and beautiful enough to be an artwork in and of itself, but simple enough that it doesn’t get in the way or dictate an experience? Will it burn well, and safely? Have the applicants planned for LNT, and considered sustainability in their design and execution?”
The structure will be built on a 12-pointed star-shaped base, with Eastern European floral lace patterns on the ceiling panels. Stretching to the ceiling in the center of the temple will be a pillar of over 100 volunteer-made wooden “roses,” which will serve as an altar. Many attendees spend time in meditation and prayer inside and leave totems of lost loved ones to be burnt with the structure in their memory.