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Y.E.S project

Youth Educational Spacecraft Project


This project is the brainchild of artist Dana Albany and Burning Man Project co-founder Harley Dubois, began with the construction of a beautifully crafted steel frame, 12’ in diameter and 11’ tall with an acrylic observation dome on top.


Over 100 children from the Tenderloin, Bayview Hunter’s Point Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco were given the opportunity to help create a mobile spacecraft under the guidance of many artists skilled in several disciplines. The kids worked side by side with experts in model making, mosaics, robotics and lighting.


This collaborative art program for youth gave them time and space to create, participate, and then exhibit their work, while engaging children in hands-on experience focusing on art and technology. While working on the spaceship, the kids were engaged in discussions about recycling, creative reuse, environmentalism, solar energy, LED lighting, photography, soundscape creation, robotics, space travel and astronomy.


The spaceship went on tour and has travelled to: Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA, Makers Faire, San Mateo, CA, BurningMan, Black Rock City, Nevada and Las Vegas. Y.E.S. Youth Educational Spacecraft Project is permanently installed in Healdsburg, CA.  


Materials: Recycled glass, tiles, mirror and traffic lights collected from Recology and Building Resource, broken dishes, plates and china, bicycle gears and chain, spoons, porcelain handles, records, red and orange plastic broken from car lights, car mirrors, old 50’s style TV monitor, robotics made from motors from old appliances, recycled push bottoms from children’s toys and a hand built interactive space control panel.


Dimensions- 12’ in diameter, 11’ tall with an acrylic observation dome on top


The mesh and fiberglass outer shell of the spaceship was a blank canvas for children and community members to collectively cover the entire spaceship with repurposed materials. During the course of three months, the children made model spaceships and created mosaic stars and imaginary planets out of recycled glass, mirror, tiles and repurposed objects collected at Recology and Building Resources.



There is a hatch that opens and whimsical stairs that allow visitors to enter the spacecraft’s interior. Inside, a TV monitor is installed with interchanging videos of space education, travel and a film directed by youth that captures “what life is like on Earth” from a child’s perspective. There is a fog machine, soundscape, vibration interface and an LED light installation with the capacity to run 130 different light sequences, as well as an interactive monitor/camera, a robotic microphone voice adaptation and a unique, interactive space control panel.



The Y.E.S. project was made possible by the generous support, funding and sponsorship from Burning Man Project, Black Rock Arts Foundation, Black Rock City, LLC, the Exploratorium, Maker’s Faire, the Crucible and private donors.

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