Term: Winter 2022
Section: 16
Class Number: 509
Credits: 3
Required: No
Elective: Yes

/ ARCH 509

LIGHTWEIGHT RENDER PRIMITIVE HUT MMORPG: Virtual Embodiment and Ecological Collapse

This seminar (taught with guest Florian Meisenberg) focuses on video games and game assets as a means to view our environment—a historical and contemporary timeline of ecological collapse charted by rendering and simulation technologies. In the course, we will study virtual open-world games and the real life and simulated ecologies they are set within. Using Unity game engine, we will develop our own immersive Mixed Reality video games from trash and repurposed materials and goods pulled from our own IRL/URL environments. In addition to watching and playing open-world games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Death Stranding, we will make use of the Computer and Video Game Archive (CVGA).

When a broken mug, half-rotten banana peel, all the way up to an existing ecology can be downloaded from TurboSquid as an obj file and then trashed in your desktop Recycle Bin, what can it mean to sift through and revalue trashed objects and materials? Every day, we throw things away. Nonetheless, the line between unwanted debris and valuable product can be rather unclear and sometimes perverse. By recycling and mining the IRL/URL worlds of objects, files and spaces, we may revalue, recontextualize, transgress and reattach the meaning and function of trash. In sifting through and curating trash—already existing material that has been deemed done, downloaded, archived, no longer usable or worthless—we will use these IRL/URL personal and collective waste bins to describe our relationship to the environment, using methods from architecture, games, aesthetics as well as mechanized and hands-on techniques of making.



Fri 1:00-4:00pm  2108 A&AB


Leah Wulfman