Burning Man Temple 2023 will be a giant desert flower, "Temple of the Heart"

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Temple design
Ela Madej and Reed Finlay.
Burning team
Ela Madej, Reed Finlay, TJ "Tree Jay" Lee, Drew Moxon, Archie Japaridze, Elyse Lefebvre, Ajesh Shah, Nonstop Symon.
Venue / Localitation
Black Rock Desert, Pershing County, Nevada, USA.
From August 27 through September 4.

Ela Madej

Ela Madej. Originally from Kraków, Poland, Ela now lives in San Francisco, CA. She’s been to Black Rock City eleven times since her first burn in 2012. She has been on the building crew for Hotel California’s 3-story wooden structure since 2018. Her playa name is Light.

At the 2022 burn, Ela felt a deep calling to create a feminine Temple. As a new mom, she was moved by the idea of creating a vessel that can physically hold space for thousands of people and help them feel loved and accepted while they’re going through hard times. The heart is where we experience grief, but it’s also where we can ultimately transform pain into peace.

With the Temple, Ela also pays homage to her family and her beloved Eastern Europe.

Reed Finlay

Reed Finlay. Reed is an architect, designer, and new father residing outside Los Angeles, CA. He is a creator of spaces for wellness, transformation, and growth, believing in the power of design to elevate our experiences and hold space for deep emotional work.

In 2019, Reed was inspired to one day contribute to the playa. As a member of the La Calaca build crew, he was mesmerized by the complexity and artistry of the build. Visiting the temple each day, he was struck by the power this space held in supporting people through grief, remembrance, and ceremony. He is humbled by the privilege of being part of this team and having the opportunity to serve those that experience the temple.  

Through his work on the temple, Reed is honouring the memory of his friend Paris and all those fighting through mental illness and emotional turmoil, hoping this space may be of some solace.



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