When I first started studying the Burning Man organization back in 1998, the organizers worked from their apartments. For meetings, they borrowed office space, such as Joegh Bullock’s Anon Salon/Climate Theater down in SOMA, San Francisco. The next year, organizers rented a small office space at 3450 Third St., an unassuming building with white tile and blue trim, which they furnished with scavenged furniture. This move allowed organizers to establish everyday operations and routines, as well as host meetings for volunteers. I have fond memories of taking field notes on meetings and other activities while perched at a repurposed dining table supported by a stack of buckets!
After the dot-com bust eroded the once-white-hot commercial space rental rates (sound familar?), organizers signed a lease on a larger office space at Third and 16th streets, where their headquarters is currently located. This lease will expire by the end of this month, and their building will be torn down under the University of California at San Francisco’s redevelopment plan. The Jack Rabbit Speaks newsletter reports that the Burning Man organization will move some operations into a temporary space while some will telecommute from home. It would be interesting to see how this move might affect their organization.