Black Rock Lighthouse Service

Architectural Designer

A crystal inspired cluster of Lighthouses ranging from 6 to 65 foot tall and some leaning as much as 25 degrees, Black Rock Lighthouse Service reinterpreted the possibility of temporary placemaking and impact of social sculpture. The juxtaposition of creating a destination of fun and shelter by something that is symbolically meant to warn you of danger was a launching point for inspiring a design experience that played with both features simultaneously. Despite being temporary and designed to feel "janky", this installation was quite possibly the safest thing on the playa being designed and engineered to withstand continuous occupancy (100 lbs/sf), as well as, 80+ mph winds (just in case). It became a destination where participants went to seek shelter, play, meet-up with friends and navigate the inland sea that is the Playa. At night the Lighthouses truly came alive with fire, light, and a few other surprises.

Typology Public Art
Location Black Rock City, NV
Client Burning Man Project
Status Completed
Date August 2016


Lead Artists Max Poynton + Jonny Poynton
Architectural Designer Elizabeth Marley
Structural Engineer Erik Kneer
Lead Carpenters Dave Keane + Michael Clancy
Lighthouse Interiors Artists Rebecca Anders, Raven + Luscious, Gabriella Levandowski, Gretchen Stamp, Toshiaki Uchikoshi
Tech and Lighting Gerald Spencer
Project Management Tom Lee, Brook Stah, Courtney King
Pyrotechnics Don Cain + Aaron Scott
Volunteers (without whom this would not be possible) Too many names to list. See project description and contact me to add your name.