DIGITAL WALDEN.
Resilient Strategies In The Digital Forest: A Pavilion Built With "As Found" Materials From The Zurich University Campus, By BA Design Students.

2020

On the 4th of July 1845, Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) closed the door of his home behind himself and moved out in the forest for more than two years in a hut built with his own hands. He provided his individual needs independently with the only help of nature itself.
In these two years, he wrote "Walden", a reflection on simple living in a natural environment: a critique at the capitalistic society of his times, articulated on the meaning of work versus living in wildlife as a means to transcendental growth.
Almost two hundred years later, Walden remains one of the modern and post-modern times "arcadia" archetypes".

Based on this literary archetype, students will reflect on the meaning of freedom and the impact of digitalization on the future of work: the "digital forest" of our times. The course will focus on constructing a "hut" made of waste material found exclusively in the Zurich University Campus.

The current condition of work and independence goes far beyond the office and home, analogue and digital, work and leisure, as all these space and times categories are blurred and meshed one into another. The course will be therefore designed in week blocks that interweave all these conditions.

The first week will be focused on the concept development and planning of the hut made out of material discarded at Toni Areal.
The second week will be spent in Cima Norma, Ticino, in direct contact with the forest, and different construction structures will be tested with material discarded by the forest.
In the third week, the knowledge gained in the forest will be applied to the development of the hut in Zurich University Campus.
In the fourth week, the hut will be finalized and installed on the campus ramp.

Students will work in teams to design and construct a digital and analogue space, using discarded materials and movements body tracking technologies as a practical and theoretical reflection on the individual's resiliency and their communities in the "digital forest" of our times.