Dystopian Places

MAI 2017/18

Students: Yiannis Vogdanis


We live in the era of abundance. We have successfully exterminated many of the
problems humanity had to face for thousands of years. Vaccines, antibiotics, modern
agriculture and so on, have revolutionized our lives but, they come with a cost. We are
rapidly depleting our planet of natural resources and the negative environmental impact of
our current model of production has reached unprecedented levels. Scientists have been
alarming us for years that our current model is not sustainable and yet, we are doing close to
nothing to address this problem.
With the above in mind the project “Dystopian Places” was born. The aim of this
project is to bring a new voice to the discussion of the many environmental challenges we are
facing. Traditionally, the majority of the information we receive about these topics comes in
the form of written text or audiovisual material. Although helpful, these are passive ways of
conveying the message and are often not powerful enough to encourage us take action. The
idea behind this project is to find a method to convey these ideas in an engaging way that
hopefully will trigger human empathy and show that these problems concern everybody
independently of race, religion or social status. To achieve this, a series of wearables will be
created that will simulate various environmental problems in such a way that can be felt by
the human wearing them. For example, to address the problem of water hypoxia, a mask,
once worn, will reduce the amount of oxygen in such a way that will mimic the reality of fish
living under such conditions. The purpose of the mask is for the wearer to imagine what it
would be like to be a fish swimming in an area with oxygen deprivation. The main goal of the
project is for humans to physically understand, to feel, the issues that environment is facing.
The hope is to increase an awareness that holds the potential to trigger a conscious decision to
take a step in eradicating the problems at hand.