Thinking like a Mall

VR Workshop

Thinking like a Mall
Date: 11.2—15.2.19
Institution: ECAL
Location: Lausanne, CH
VR Workshop

In Thinking like a Mall, Steven Vogel argues that environmental thinking would be better off if it dropped the concept of “nature” altogether and spoke instead of the “environment”—that is, the world that actually surrounds us, which is always a built world, the only one that we inhabit. We need to think not so much like a mountain (as Aldo Leopold urged) as like a mall. Shopping malls, too, are part of the environment and deserve as much serious consideration from environmental thinkers as do mountains.

Vogel argues provocatively that environmental philosophy, in its ethics, should no longer draw a distinction between the natural and the artificial and, in its politics, should abandon the idea that something beyond human practices (such as “nature”) can serve as a standard determining what those practices ought to be. The appeal to nature distinct from the built environment, he contends, may be not merely unhelpful to environmental thinking but in itself harmful to that thinking. The question for environmental philosophy is not “how can we save nature?” but rather “what environment should we inhabit, and what practices should we engage in to help build it?” 
MIT Press

You will be assigned a human-built, remote or normally inaccessible structure to research, document and re-enact in a VR environment. Along the process you will learn 3d modelling in SketchUp and VR scenes creation with the Unity game engine. Your final project should provide a novel and unprecedented look at these often ignored structures as they take on larger and more important roles in a globalized world.

Monday Morning
– Assignment of a building 
– Reseaerch on building

Monday Afternoon
– Foam Model building 1:100
– Presentation of research and model

Tuesday Morning
– Technical course: Intro to SketchUp
– Rebuild foam model with SketchUp

Tuesday Afternoon
– Technical course Unity VR
– Import SketchUp Model in Unity VR
– Work with light, colours and textures

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday Morning
– Project development and individual consultations

Friday Afternoon
– Presentation