Cupcake Cafe at Burning Man 2017

Imagine you are walking along one of the roads at Burning Man. While you may be heading toward a particular destination, you welcome distractions. As you pass The Cupcake Cafe, someone emerges with a tray. “Would you like a cupcake?” they say. A handwritten label on the tray says “Cupcakes by Sarah.” The chocolate and [Read More…]

Cafe Infrastructure

Most theme camps in the Black Rock Desert are bars. Why is that? Having brought a sake bar to Burning Man, I can say that bars are easy. To create a bar camp, aside from hanging wall decorations, I just needed to bring sake and prepare to wash sake cups. Working the event was easy: I [Read More…]

New Shelter?

I’ve been bringing the same 26-foot-diameter wooden dome to Burning Man for 12 years. While I could continue to bring it for years to come, it takes much time to assemble and take down, and its cover is not dust tight. Since The Cupcake Cafe needs a dust-free environment, either the dome’s cover needs to be improved or [Read More…]

Two Freezers on a Generator?

The freezer will need to run 24/7, and so I’ll bring my Honda EU2000i generator and refill its gasoline tank throughout the week. To conserve gasoline, the EU2000i has an “Eco-Throttle” mode that keeps the generator in idle. The generator still outputs 115 volts, but at low capacity. When the generator senses a large electrial load it opens its throttle and [Read More…]

Architecture: Intimacy Gradient

I am inspired by architect Christopher Alexander’s book A Pattern Language. One of its sections, Pattern 127 Intimacy Gradient, recommends ordering the spaces of a building so that public areas are closest to the entrance and private areas are more distant. Following this pattern creates what is called an “intimacy gradient” because the intimacy of adjacent spaces increases gradually as one moves toward [Read More…]

After Burning Man 2017

Well, that was quite an adventure! After nine days in the desert running the theme camp “Cupcake Cafe” at Burning Man, I returned to the house exhausted but satisfied. I need to say that having excellent campmates makes it easier to run things. Here’s how everything went. Cupcakes and Frosting The whole point of the [Read More…]