InVasive is a project grounded in sustainability, not only because it will be built from an unwanted invasive plant that is routinely discarded, but also because the lifespan of the temple will be part of its design. In late summer 2019 the temple will be relocated to an urban site where it will be further developed and then released in a burn.
InVasive will be highly interactive, public, and free. It is a collaborative endeavor that brings together different groups of people with varying skill sets in the creation of a carefully conceived and constructed structure that will build community even as it is community-built.
InVasive is a design/build project that will culminate in a temple structure situated on the west side of the Cincinnati Art Museum. This temple will be completed to coincide with the opening of the museum exhibition No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man in May 2019. The structure will echo the meaning and function of the temple built for Burning Man in the Nevada desert each year – it will be a place of refuge, reflection, remembrance – but it will be designed to reflect the context of its Cincinnati location.
A number of different groups are involved in the development and production of the temple. The temple design is being initiated by students at the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) at the University of Cincinnati – these students are studying with Samantha Krukowski (Associate Professor, School of Design) and are an interdisciplinary group studying landscape architecture, horticulture, sculpture and architecture. This smaller group of students will participate in the build of the temple alongside additional students and faculty from UC and other educational institutions (including high schools), community members from Walnut Hills and Mount Auburn, and the regional Burning Man community. The staff in the Cincinnati Art Museum Division of Learning & Interpretation is facilitating outreach efforts and community participation along with local arts organizations.
The temple will be constructed using invasive Amur Honeysuckle harvested from the Cincinnati Art Museum grounds. This undesirable species populates much of the landscape in Ohio, and grounds crews are currently working to clear the honeysuckle on the northern hillside of the art museum. Honeysuckle branches and stems will be the primary material for the temple, and these will be joined using various construction techniques (stacking, weaving, thatching), and biodegradable fastening systems. Lighting will be woven into the structure for illumination at night.
There were design reviews of proposals for the structure before field work began in mid-February. Once the temple is underway (with detailed construction methods drawn and with a stable armature in place) community members will join the build. When it is completed, the Cincinnati Art Museum will activate the temple with ceremonies and activities that are tied to the educational program of the museum and to the ten principles of Burning Man.
InVasive is supported by The Carol Ann and Raplh V. Haile Foundation.