tall grass - the artist

My name is Glenn Easley, I work as an architect in Seattle, Washington and live on a beautiful little island called Vashon. I've been to Burning Man 3 times and last year was my first experience with a personal project - I designed and built a bamboo spire that stood 50' tall, glowed so brightly that I could see it from every corner of the Playa and had me feeling fully charged for the entire event. It completely changed my relationship with the city and even more importantly my relationships with the other folks who brought their projects out to the desert. I was no longer an observer, I was a participant. I'll never go back.


I kept last year's spire project close to me at the edge of my camp. It had passed the windy torture test on Vashon Island, but I felt like I needed to keep a watchful eye on it and see how it withstood the heat and dryness of the Playa. I was also a little concerned that someone might try to climb the obviously delicate structure which would no doubt bring it crashing down. As it turned out, despite a lot of cracking, the tower handled everything the Playa had to throw at it and no one even looked as if they thought it was climbable.


Although based on similar ideas of structure and form, Tall Grass is quite different from the first bamboo spire. The structure of Tall Grass is going to be four sided where the bamboo spire was three. It will be made of half as many sections that will be twice as tall. The species of bamboo will be different as well allowing me to impart some curves into the form. The species, Tam Vong, is a nearly solid bamboo, often used for furniture and architectural projects, and can be drilled and bolted or screwed. I plan to use bolted connections for all the individual sections. They'll be very strong and allow the entire structure to be collapsed into a relatively small package that can be quickly deployed on the Playa. This type of bamboo will make the tower much more robust than last year's  - stronger and more flexible.


There is a special place in my heart for the 3 o'clock plaza. It has been my doorstep for every one of my visits - the gateway through which I would pass on my way to and from camp. This project is an outgrowth of my connection with that space and my desire to create something there that would charge my creativity and benefit the community.

concept      .      construction      .      detail     .    home