16 Otherworldly Photos of Burning Man Architecture

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By Jenny Xie / Photos by Philippe Glade
French photographer Philippe Glade captures the huge variety of tents, camps, and towers that the iconic art festival brings to the Nevada desert.

Whether you love it, hate it, or can't understand it, ticket registration for the infamous weeklong art festival known as Burning Man is open until January 26. Every year since 1986, the event has drawn tens of thousands to Nevada's Black Rock Desert, where participants erect the temporary community of Black Rock City.

Totem of Confessions by Michael Garlington and crew

Totem of Confessions by Michael Garlington and crew

With 10 guiding principles presiding over the festival—including radical inclusion, decommodification, and radical self-expression—it's no wonder that a visionary spirit presides over the architecture and infrastructure of Burning Man as well. After having documented the city from 1996 to 2010, photographer Philippe Glade published The Ephemeral Architecture of Burning Man in 2011. A new volume, The New Ephemeral Architecture of Burning Man, includes 200 new images that were snapped from 2011 to 2015.

From alien-like tarps to elaborate structures, the selections below are a sample of the unbelievable designs that appear and disappear like mirages in the desert each summer.

Pentayurts at Easy Buckaroo Camp

Pentayurts at Easy Buckaroo Camp

Sacred Spaces Village

Sacred Spaces Village

The Space Cubes at Caravancicle Camp

The Space Cubes at Caravancicle Camp

Aluminet fabric over PVC pipes

Aluminet fabric over PVC pipes

Pink Heart Camp

Pink Heart Camp

Suburbia Camp

Suburbia Camp

Camouflage net over Springbar tent and carport

Camouflage net over Springbar tent and carport

Metal Pods  by Scott Parenteau

Metal Pods by Scott Parenteau

Playa Moon Dome of Camp Do More Now

Playa Moon Dome of Camp Do More Now

Balinese Camp

Balinese Camp

The Loaf Shelter made of 850 loaves of bread

The Loaf Shelter made of 850 loaves of bread

Zonotopia and the Two Trees by Rob Bell

Zonotopia and the Two Trees by Rob Bell

The Temple of Transition by Chris Hankins, Diarmaid Horkan, and the International Art Megacrew

The Temple of Transition by Chris Hankins, Diarmaid Horkan, and the International Art Megacrew

The Man, 2013

The Man, 2013

The Playa, 2014

The Playa, 2014

The New Ephemeral Architecture of Burning Man is available to order through Real Paper Books.