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Burning Man: A Culture of Possibilities (1.5 LUs)
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When: Wednesday, July 10, 2019
6:00 - 8:00 PM
Where: AIA San Francisco
130 Sutter Street, Suite 600
San Francisco, California  94104
United States
Contact: 415-874-2620

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AIASF Members $10 | General Admission $15

Over the last 50 years the profession of architecture has struggled with questions of its relevance, with questions of if it can create CulturalVibrancy and meaning for the diverse world it serves. “As Architects we often strive to create buildings and cities that have a high degree of cultural activity, authenticity, and a strong sense of community. We desire an engaged population that not only loves their environment, but also participates in its creation, and in its ongoing evolution. The extension of which means they feel responsible for, its maintenance, its improvement, and are inspired and empowered to infuse it with their cultural and artistic energy. Ideally this vibrancy extents across the full range of socio-economic strata, so that everyone participates and enjoys these benefits. If they are successful, they will extend this caring sense of community beyond the physical environment, towards caring for each other’s well-being, because they sense how each of us contributes to the success of our communities.” 

Burning Man represents a unique opportunity to explore issues of Cultural Vibrancy, on a grand but temporal basis. At one level it is a “Social Experiment” gone viral. In part this comes from the way it challenges various social norms and rebalances the relationship between the intellect and emotion. One could argue that Modernism has set itself apart from the broadest segments of society, by relying too much on intellect in the creation of the physical environment. Burning Man sets a stage to see what happens when it encourages 70,000 people to, celebrate “self-expression”, to ingrain art into their lives, and to participate rather than merely observe. From an architect’s standpoint this is where one might have a glimpse into what an “Architecture of Abundance” could look like, and how a culture of engagement could change the way we relate to the people we design for.

About the Presenter

John Marx, AIA, is the founding design principal of Form4 Architecture in San Francisco, CA. He advocates for Philosophy, Art, and Poetry in the thoughtful making of place, using the compelling power of form, always aware that architecture is a balancing act between self expression and collaboration. In addition, John is a part time student of Absurdity, Paradox, and Kindness. He has widely lectured on the topics of Design, Placemaking, Emotional Meaning and Cultural Vibrancy in Silicon Valley and places as diverse as Korea, Italy, Austria, Australia, Canada and the Technion in Israel. John exhibited his work at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale and exhibited during 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale at GAFF.