“Burning Man is a really transformative experience,” Krukowski says. “It's one of the most radical places I can imagine being. I wish that everybody had the opportunity to go, honestly. It’s an extraordinary example of creativity, utopian social planning and urban planning.”
“Some of the most incredible artworks and structures I have ever seen have been built out there. And then at the end, everything gets taken away or burned. It’s an amazing impermanent city of some 80,000 people. Impermanence and creativity have been really important to my research and my own design process. Burning Man makes you ask why humans make things and what they are for. Why do we create, how long does what we make last and how long is long enough? What is important and what is fame?”
Krukowski was thrilled to learn that the “No Spectators” exhibit would be making its way from the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., to the Cincinnati Art Museum before making its final stop at Oakland Museum of California.
“I thought it was fascinating that Cincinnati of all places in the country would be the only other city to host the exhibition between the two coasts,” she says.
Krukowski connected with the museum’s director and staff, who were interested in incorporating an educational component with students and faculty from UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. “Interestingly, I don’t think anybody ever proposed an effigy — a man to burn — but the museum was looking for people to design and build a Temple,” she says.
This spring, Krukowski led a landscape architecture studio for students to do just that. The interdisciplinary group included undergraduate horticulture students and graduate students studying architecture, sculpture and landscape architecture. Together with her colleague from Syracuse University, Zeke Leonard, and volunteers from the community (including Professor Stephen Meyer of UC’s College-Conservatory of Music and local contractor Chris Haas), the class designed and built a Temple using a pesky and plentiful material familiar to most Ohioans: invasive Amur honeysuckle.