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Dome makes journey to Burning Man

By Susan Dickson
Staff Writer

Carrboro resident John Quick deconstructs the geodesic dome he and a few friends constructed to transport out to Nevada’s Black Rock Desert for Burning Man, where it will serve as a temporary venue of sorts. PHOTO BY JAMIE DEGRAW

Heading out Hillsborough Road near McDougle School earlier this month, you may have noticed an odd structure – a geodesic dome crafted entirely of raw metal tubing – but almost as soon as the dome appeared, it was gone.

The deconstructed, 47-foot dome has since made its way out to Black Rock Desert, Nev., where it will be restored to its full glory for Burning Man, an annual art event and temporary community that comes together as a sort of festival, running Aug. 27 through Sept. 3.

This will be Carrboro resident John Quick’s fourth trip out to the festival, and his second with a group of about 20 other locals. Quick and a couple of friends built the dome outside of a home on Hillsborough Road earlier this month as a test run, and last week they took it apart and packed it up.

Those who have never been to Burning Man might wonder why one would construct such a structure, but Quick said there are structures all over the festival serving a variety of needs.

“There are lots of domes out there. There are lots of other crazy structures,” he said.

Last year, Quick and friends built a smaller, 32-foot dome that they covered with a parachute to use as a shade structure.

‘This year we’re going to be using it as more of a venue,” Quick said, complete with a bar and a stage. The festival requires that attendees participate in some way, with 10 principles outlining things like inclusion, self-expression and civic responsibility.

“You feel obligated to do something for the people around you, or build something or create something, or present yourself in some fashion,” he said.

While in Carrboro, the structure drew a lot of attention from curious passersby, Quick said, much like the smaller dome, which he set up outside his home on Old Pittsboro Road this past spring.

“We met a lot of our neighbors due to it being there,” he said.

Quick, a carpenter who has lived in Carrboro for three-and-a-half years, said he hopes to fabricate and build unique structures as his full-time profession one day.

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