Past Projects

OTIC OASIS: 2011 & 2012

The Otic Oasis is a 35-foot geometric honeycomb-like cluster structure erected at Burning Man in 2011 and 2012.  It provided shade, shelter, comfort and individualized spaces for quiet contemplation of our natural surroundings.  It was built in a preserved tranquil corner of Black Rock City, a zone free of motorized vehicles and loud amplified music, lights, and energy — Walk-In Camping. The Otic Oasis could be reached only by foot or bike, enhancing the desert calm – it was a journey to get there, but the indigenous stillness and magical aesthetics of the Black Rock Desert made it well worth the journey.  In keeping with the walk-in regulations of this area, all 20,000 pounds of wood and other materials were hand-carted into the build site, and it was erected without use of any motorized vehicles.  The Otic Oasis was crafted completely of interlocking wood, with no nails, glue or metal fasteners. The struts were fastened together with patented plywood “connector” nodes that fit together in an ingenious manner, and provide a great deal of strength and support as well as artistry.

Here’s a video featuring the Oasis: The Fertile Desert, by Roy Two Thousand

The Fertile Desert from roy two thousand on Vimeo.

A trailer for a documentary about the Otic Oasis, by Daniela Ardizzone:

Our 2012 Kickstarter video:

Our 2011 Kickstarter video:



The Pistil is a 35’ tall double helix of five cubic geodesic modules nested on an octet truss space frame. The modules, each with 12 panel parts and 24 connector parts are interconnected in a spiral array based on a 3D checkerboard.  The space frame, in the same spiral array, includes stadium seating and a stairway. Made from router cut Finland Birch plywood and fit together without metal fasteners, it is reusable.  The Pistil was built inside the Man Base Pavilion in 2012, the first time an artist had been invited to build a sculpture within the Man Base.


Photo by: Teddy Saunders

Photo by: Teddy Saunders

The Otic Oasis and Man Base Pistil Crew – actually “hive” – is a group of artists, architects, dreamers, mathematicians, builders, students, thinkers, inventors, connectors and community members who coalesced when they perceived a need in Black Rock City for a tranquil desert sanctuary. It began in 2010, when a few members, following the traditional pilgrim’s journey in the pre-dawn moments to the perimeter fence at its eastern edge to await the rays of sunrise, found themselves somehow in the orbit of large art cars playing Sunrise Sets to welcome the dawn. Though the music was captivating, it interfered with the activating. So a few wandered on to find a location that still maintained its primitive condition, and stumbled into the quiet mecca of reserved parkland — Walk-In Camping. It was obvious that the adventurers who would make the journey to this remote area would need shelter from the harsh conditions as well as a place to rest and reflect – and the idea for the Otic Oasis was born.

This diverse group shares the core belief that innovative ideas combined with dreaming big allow us to see the invisible connection between all things. Our goal is to focus on creativity and influencing change, and with our collective skills, talent and experience, we hope to make the invisible visible.