Practice Safe Hex

Our 2015 Burning Man theme is "Practice Safe Hex" to address some growing issues around moop, fire safety and general good citizenship.
  1. Finish your hexayurt at home. Definitely no board cutting, even for windows, on the Playa if you can avoid it. Reno parking lots etc. are not ideal either.
  2. Transport your hexayurt safely. That seems to mean sandwiching the panels between two sheets of plywood and ratchet straps if you are using a roof rack. That is going to be heavy: make sure your roof rack / car can take it!
  3. Make your tie downs good and strong. Candy caned rebar stakes, driven deep, or regular rebar with ends protected so nobody can cut themselves. User ratchet straps or a rope halo, and make sure it's tight enough that the wind cannot shift the unit a milimeter.
  4. Put a smoke detector at the peak of every hexayurt. This is really important: the more hexayurts that are in use, the safer each one must be if we are going to maintain our safety record!
  5. Make sure that every hexayurt has two exits. Even if one is taped shut - in case of fire. This is particularly critical if you have honeycombed hexayurts together. Fire is a real risk: please protect yourselves.
Have a great burn, and I'll join you when I can.


by Robin Gane-McCalla

Hello! If you're going to Burning Man, have a great burn, and welcome to our Financial Times readers too.

Please see our documentation links on the left for how to build a hexayurt. We've also got tons of videos on the old homepage.

I am doing a Reddit AMA (group interview) right now - come on over and say hi. If you make a reddit account, you can join the discussions. Also, I'm looking for people to help me get the hexayurt to Afrika Burn. Please write me an email if you have ideas about how we could build some hexayurts there in 2015.

The Hexayurt Family

We now have 13 hexayurt models which have been built and tested and are suitable for a variety of purposes. The shelters share a common feature: they can be made from standard industrial 4'x8' (1.2m x 2.4m) panels from materials like plastic, polyiso insulation, plywood, OSB, sandwich panels and cardboard. In disaster relief applications the hexayurt can cost less than a tent, and be constructed in far larger quantities than tent supplies allow.

Models by Razi Masri of Jumplogic. You can see lots of photographs of completed hexayurt builds too.

One Network, One World

Vinay Gupta, the inventor of the hexayurt, discusses the full context of the project at OHM2013, a European maker festival. Also available in ogg (230mb) via this torrent.

Welcome, Makers

Julie Danger is building hexayurts at the Maker Faire. Say hi for me!

Community Documentation

At long last, we're beginning to get some real community documentation going. Documenting the hexayurt has always been a big job, and I'm delighted to have some new resources for builders.

Julie Danger's Camp Danger folding hexayurt videos document a really easy way of making folding hexayurts. Julie's videos are by far the easiest way to understand how to make hexayurts, and highly recommended.

Then there's the Nearodesic Tridome Report by the Space Gnomes (who have more regular identities on the report). This is an incredibly useful document, with full structural engineering calculations for the Tridome hexayurt in polyiso under Burning Man conditions. I'm absolutely delighted this research has been done, and I hope you'll download it and give it a look!

George Fisher has created a survivalist's hexayurt guide (I hope he won't mind me calling it that) which is a bridge I've wanted to see built for years. I've always thought that the hexayurt was an integral part of grass roots resilience efforts in earthquake zones and similar places, and it's good to see the system percolating across cultures.

750 hexayurts at Burning Man 2012, 500 in 2011 - but how many in 2013?

Every red dot on this aerial photo from 2011 is a hexayurt. There are even more in the 2012 aerial picture but it's a little cloudy!

But we do not have an exact count for 2013 because there is no freely available high resolution satellite data. There is a satellite picture but it hasn't been released in high res yet. Ground estimates are 50% to 100% more hexayurts than 2012, which would be well over 1000 hexayurts, but until we get the satellite imagery, we just won't know for sure.

Mouseover for a look at one of the more dense areas in full res. Thanks to Jay Springett for the count!