Land Art Generator and Burning Man 2020: Design the Future of Fly Ranch

Land Art Generator and Burning Man 2020: Design the Future of Fly Ranch

Curated by Aline Chahine | 
January 28, 2020
| Est. Reading: 4 minutes

Registration Open:January 15, 2020
Register/Submit Deadline:Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Land Art Generator Initiative and Burning Man Project have partnered to launch a multi-disciplinary design challenge—LAGI 2020 Fly Ranch—that will create the foundational infrastructure of Fly Ranch.

You are invited to propose your regenerative artwork in this stunning landscape. In 2021 selected design teams will be provided an honoraria grant for the purpose of building a functional prototype on site.

Land Art Generator and Burning Man 2020: Design the Future of Fly Ranch

Each August, the annual Burning Man event transforms a desolate corner of northern Nevada into a thriving temporary metropolis fueled by creativity, experimentation, and awe. In 2016, the organization behind this city acquired Fly Ranch, a 3,800 acre property just north of the event site.

This property is home to dozens of hot and cold springs, three geysers, acres of wetlands, dozens of animal species, and more than 100 identified types of plants. The Fly Ranch project is an opportunity to create a year-round rural incubator for Burning Man culture and a catalyst for innovation and creativity in the world.

To host residencies, gatherings, and projects at Fly Ranch, the site will need infrastructure. We could bring generators, bottled water, packaged food, tents, and dispose of our waste off-site, but why would we do that when we have the opportunity to mobilize the desert-tested ingenuity of the Burning Man community and the inspiration of a greater creative culture to build scalable and sustainable solutions in one of the harshest climates in the world?

Land Art Generator and Burning Man 2020: Design the Future of Fly Ranch


The goal is to conceive of a place that can serve as a fertile ground for exchanging ideas, innovating, experimenting, art making, and healing­—a place that sets the highest standards of excellence, providing for its own sustainable operations, and also giving back generously to help other places reduce carbon.

As Burning Man embarks on a 2030 plan to make the annual event at Black Rock City sustainable, Fly Ranch will almost certainly serve an important role in that effort.

Fly Ranch is less than five miles from Black Rock City, but in that short distance there is much that changes in the landscape. The 3,800 acres of Fly Ranch are home to at least 126 plant varieties (100 of which are native), 90 varieties of birds, 15 mammals, 11 reptiles and fish, and at least 24 varieties of insects. Successful proposals to LAGI 2020 Fly Ranch will respect and support this biodiversity.

Fly Ranch is set within a regional ecosystem of extremes, with hot dry summers and cold wet winters. The temperature ranges from below 0 °F (-18 °C) in the winter to over 105 °F (40 °C) in the summer. These extremes offer challenges and opportunities for creativity.

As designers and creatives you hold the keys to a successful transition to a culture of stewardship and conservation of nature.

By painting a clear and beautiful picture of human settlement in harmony with the planet—a glimpse into a post-carbon world that is attractive and desirable, you can inspire the world to the actions needed to achieve these ends on a global scale. Consider how visitors to Fly Ranch in the year 2050 will experience your landscape, the places you design, the systems you employ. Think about how they will reflect at that time in the not-so-distant future on the ideas you present in response to this challenge. How will they see your proposal from the vantage point of a world that has reached net zero emissions? Perhaps they will reflect on how in the year 2020 we came together at these dire crossroads and made the right decision on which path to follow.

Land Art Generator and Burning Man 2020: Design the Future of Fly Ranch


The project is open to everyone everywhere, and seeks creative solutions to systems of energy, water, food, shelter, and regeneration. You are invited to propose your regenerative artwork in this unique and stunning landscape.

$150,000 will be distributed to selected teams for the purpose of constructing functioning prototypes at Fly Ranch in 2021.

In October of 2020, a primary exhibition will be held in Reno, NV.

The LAGI 2020 publication (Prestel Publishers) will feature selected projects and will document the prototyping process at Fly Ranch.


  • David de Rothschild Explorer and environmentalist
  • Walter Hood Landscape and Public Artist, Founder of Hood Design Studio, MacArthur Fellow
  • Nadia Nazar Zero Hour, Founder, Co-Executive Director, and Art Director
  • Matt Forkin Google X, Hardware Engineer; Wilderness skills expert
  • William Kamkwamba Founder, Moving Windmills
  • David Walker CEO, Nevada Museum of Art; Burning Man Board Member
  • Will Roger Founding Board Member, Burning Man Project
  • Crimson Rose Founding Board Member, Burning Man Project
  • Jason Schupbach Head of Design, Arizona State University
  • Darien Sturges Ellen MacArthur Foundation
  • Michelle Tulac Ellen MacArthur Foundation
  • Stacey Black Assistant Principal and Teacher, Gerlach K–12 
  • Christian Gaines Executive Director, Western States Arts Federation
  • Heather Gayle Holdridge LEED Fellow, EIT, Assoc. AIA  Sustainability Director, Lake|Flato Architects
  • Melissa Melero-Moose Artist
  • Chip Thomas Artist, Activist, Physician
  • Victor Pérez-Rul Artist and Founder, Studio Victor Pérez-Rul; LAGI Board Member 
  • Rina Schumer Asst VP of Academic and Faculty Affairs, Desert Research Institute
  • Dave Solaro Assistant County Manager, Washoe County
  • Kate Thomas Assistant County Manager, Washoe County
  • Yodassa Williams Writer, entrepreneur, speaker, and performing storyteller
  • Zachary Coffin Artist

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