When a group of Burners describing themselves as the Black Rock City Ministry of Urban Planning announced a design competition last fall for a new urban plan for Burning Man, Phil Walker had never given the matter much thought.
“I’m actually not a Burner. I’ve never done it,” says Walker, the senior associate vice president for CallisonRTKL, an architecture firm and design consultancy. “Maybe a bit of vicarious living for a middle-aged suburban dad is what appealed to me.” — citylab.com
An hour south from the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip, a tiny town in Nevada is up for sale.
Cal-Nev-Ari, Nev. (pronounced Cal-Nev-Air) is off a lonely stretch of Highway 95, surrounded by distant mountains and endless desert. The town isn't far from the California and Arizona borders [...].
If you can afford the $8 million asking price, you'll get the airstrip, the diner and the town's only casino. That includes a dozen old slot machines and a smokey bar. This place has character. — npr.org
Scott Slater has a plan. It is not a popular plan, but he wants to pump 814bn gallons of water from under the Mojave desert to Los Angeles and other drought-stricken communities in southern California, and make more than $2bn doing so...In addition to environmental concerns, others object to a private company being able to make billions from water. Slater says they do not understand the law, which in California states no entity can own water but they can buy, sell and trade the right to use it. — The Guardian
Cairo is an unruly urban sprawl that has spun out of control. Now, officials want to build a new capital in the desert -- a potent symbol of President Sisi's regime. But will it ever happen? [...]
The old Cairo is an ugly city, an affront to the senses. [...] a city of contradictions, created from the bottom up, even though that had never been the intention. It has been growing wildly since the 1960s -- from 3.5 million back then to 18 million now -- against the will of the country's rulers. — spiegel.de
'His signature style helped bring Palm Springs to the international stage and his body of work is still as fresh today as when first created...' — The Desert Sun
For decades, tourists have been coming to Southern California's Coachella Valley, drawn by spectacular mountain vistas, great weather and lush landscapes.
Those landscapes have been, for the most part, man-made — an artificial oasis in a land of desert. [...]
As California enters a fourth year of drought and state and local water officials unveil a series of conservation dictates, at least some hotels in the valley — big and small — have begun launching water conservation measures. — USA Today
[Barclay's] plan, to fabricate a “master-planned community” for nearly 100,000 people on what is today a field of sand dunes, is called Santolina. If fully populated, the development would be about the size of New Mexico’s current second-largest city, Las Cruces, and bigger than Santa Fe [...]
Columbia University’s Earth Institute points to 2050 as a time when the drought will begin to worsen dramatically, right around when Santolina planners predict the development could approach full capacity — theguardian.com
Richard Serra’s new sculpture, 'East-West/West-East,' is a set of four standing steel plates rolled in Germany, shipped via Antwerp, and offloaded, trucked, and craned into place in the middle of the western Qatari desert...the steel is the same that he’s used in his other pieces, and it will oxidize in the same way, albeit more quickly in the hot, salty conditions of the Brouq Nature Reserve. The plates will [ultimately] turn a dark amber—approximately the same color...as the Seagram Building. — The New Yorker
Located in Garden Valley, Nevada, Michael Heizer’s City is one of the most significant works of art in the United States. Begun by Heizer in 1972, the project is now in its final stage of completion. It will, in the future, be accessible by the public. [...]
To see the land developed into a site for military, energy, or waste purposes, would ruin it forever. After 43 years of work, can it really be destroyed like this? — unframed.lacma.org
Egypt is in the throes of a severe housing shortage [...]. But one thing the country has an abundance of is lonesome desert, and developers are turning there to construct immense projects that stick out in the emptiness like skyscrapers on Mars.
London-based photographer Manuel Alvarez Diestro has a yen for the monumental [...] naturally he was interested in the colossal structures rising on the outskirts of Egyptian cities. — citylab.com
“He didn’t like people coming into the studio and seeing the paintings before they were finished,” he said. “This is one of the most ambitious artworks ever envisioned, certainly in the United States.”
Heizer's mammoth masterpiece in the desert is called "City."
“It was in 1994 when I first saw it, unfinished,” Govan said. “You do cry. You think, what an incredibly beautiful ambition.” — ksl.com
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