2013 Burning Man Design Competition Judges :


Thom Faulders

Faulders Studio is an award-winning architecture and design office with projects spanning a diverse range of building scales. With an equal footing in applied practice and speculative research, the office maintains a vibrant interdisciplinary presence through its award-winning projects. Faulders Studio integrates innovative material performance, user perception, urban connectivity, and environmental exigencies to pursue architecture as a dynamic and open condition. In combination with practice, Thom Faulders is an Associate Professor in Architecture at CCA: California College of the Arts in San Francisco. The work of Faulders Studio is collected in the Permanent Architecture and Design Collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and is included in leading exhibitions and publications around the world.


Eric Corey Freed 

Eric Corey Freed, LEED AP, Hon. FIGP, is Principal of organicARCHITECT, an architecture and consulting firm in California, with 20 years of experience in green building.

Eric co-developed the Sustainable Design programs at the Academy of Art University and University of California Berkeley Extension.  He is on the boards of USGBC Inland Empire, Architects, Designers & Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR), and West Coast Green, as well as the advisory boards of a dozen other organizations.

He was the founding Chair of Architecture for The San Francisco Design Museum and one of the founders of ecoTECTURE: The Online Journal of Ecological Design.  He is a regular contributor for Sustainable Industries Journal, Luxe, Natural Home, Metropolitan Home and dozens of other publications.  Eric lectures around the country at 40+ conferences a year, and his work has been featured in Dwell, Metropolis, Town & Country, Natural Home and Newsweek.  He has been seen on television on Fox News, HGTV, The Sundance Channel and PBS.

When Eric was just 25 years old, noted architect and critic Philip Johnson described him as “one of the real brains of his generation”.   Today, Eric continues the tradition of “Organic Architecture”, first developed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

He is a founding board member and current Chair of the Coachella Valley branch of the US Green Building Council, and sits on the Sustainability Commission for the City of Palm Desert.  He has received awards from several Mayors, and worked with dozens of municipalities around the country to help implement sustainable policies.

Eric is the author of four books, including “Green Building & Remodeling for Dummies”, a bestseller with over 200,000 copies in print, and “Sustainable School Architecture.”  His latest, “Green$ense for your Home” won the 2011 Outstanding Book Award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

Eric is considered a leader in the field; named by San Francisco Magazine “Best Green Architect” in 2005; “Best Visionary” in 2007; and “Green Visionary” by 7×7 Magazine in 2008.  In 2012, he was named one of the 25 “Best Green Architecture Firms” in the US, and one of the “Top 10 Most Influential Green Architects.”

Thomas Rettenwender

Thomas Rettenwender, M.A. mag Arch, LEED AP, Architect –  is Principal Architect of the Ecological Design Lab, an architectural design and research firm, and President of Realitree: Ecology and Architecture, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Sand City and Monterey, California. Thomas is Professor of Sustainable Design and Construction at the Hartnell College Center for Advanced Technology and at Rancho Cielo Youth Campus. He has also started Green Building Design Programs at Monterey Peninsula College and University of California, Santa Cruz, teaching courses titled “Principles of Green Building Design”, “Environmental Urban Design”, “Print Reading and Modeling” and “Green Building Materials and Methods” ” Sustainable Design & Resources for Developing Countries” and “Principles of Sustainable Design”.

His educational background is in Architecture (Mag. Arch., University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria and SCIArc, Los Angeles, California), Philosophy and Mathematics (B.A. Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland) and Philosophy (M.A. Trinity College, Dublin). He has studied with internationally renowned architects Zaha Hadid, Wolf D. Prix, Lebbeus Woods and Greg Lynn. Thomas is an Architect licensed in the State of California and a “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” – Accredited Professional (LEED AP). He is on the Board of Directors of the Sustainability Academy.

Thomas apprenticed with Big Sur architect Mickey Muennig from 2003-06, was the resident architect at Rana Creek Habitat Restoration from 2006-08, and has practiced architecture in Frankfurt, Vienna, Beijing, Big Sur, Monterey, and Los Angeles. His professional work includes design of the Monterey Bay Shores Ecoresort, Google Living Architecture Analysis, Redwood Gateway Interpretive Center, Slotover Residence, Bonny Doon, and the Wavecrest Ecology Education Center, Halfmoon Bay, Ca.

Michael Twing, 

Michael Twing is a residential general contraction with over twenty-five years of experience. He apprenticed under one of the finest restoration and preservation contractors in SF, working on several period homes and structures. After completing his apprenticeship, he was awarded his contractors license in 1992. His first business focused on kitchen and bath design and build (Twing Design & Installation). From there, Michael founded Urban Vision  with a focus on loft conversions. Since moving from SF and setting up shop in Marin, Michael has been involved in building custom homes while honing his skills at exterior hardscape/lighting and tile and stone work. Twing, Inc. offers full design and construction services. From creative initial concept, helpful budget planning, in-house CAD design, and a seamless permit process, for custom homes, additions and renovations.

Michael has a history of being around airports. He soloed in 1987 and has continued the passion that brought him to the Burning Man. He, along with Lissa Shoun and a few others, established the Black Rock City Municipal Airport 1999. He has been instrumental primarily in the build and maintenance of the airport. Working closely with the Bureau of Land Management, FAA and local law enforcement. Since then the airport has developed into a FAA sanctioned privately operated temporary uncontrolled field. When not building temporary airports in the middle of nowhere or permanent homes in the big City, he can be found in Mill Valley, CA with Suzanne and their three kids. Michael’s adventurous life and passions include winter sports, motor sports, cooking and travel.

Steve Ramseur

Steve Ramseur had formal training in Sociology and Early Childhood/Elementary Education.  He has worked in education, and as a residential remodeling carpenter.  The Oregon Country Fair and Burning Man Art Festival provided him with experience building temporary structures with aesthetic and practical features.  He soloed a sailplane at age 14, has sailed and windsurfed, and has over 200 hours piloting Hang Gliders, including a flight reaching an altitude above 15,000 feet.  A ten-year Burning Man attendee, he has designed and built numerous swings and shade structures, including work as one of the principal designers of the existing Airport Terminal Shade Structure. He continues to serve the Airport’s Land Unit, which builds, maintains and deconstructs the infrastructure of the Black Rock City Municipal Airport.



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