Henry David Thoreau’s storied Walden has been recreated in pixels, for an immersive experience that invites people to explore a virtual reality forest.
In 1845, the American philosopher transplanted himself to the woods of Walden Pond, in Massachusetts, and embraced the simple life. The experience formed the basis of his book Walden, which details his two-year stay and reflects on reconnecting with nature.
In 2022, visitors to Milan design week can enjoy their own, albeit much compressed, version of Walden. Hosted at RafflesMilano design institute, the virtual reality experience includes leaves, trees, and a cabin – all drawn in pixels by Valentina Grilli, who lectures in painting techniques at the school.
The digital installation is hosted in a physical exhibition space which also evokes the wildness of nature, with real leaves and wood emphasising the experience. RafflesMilano describes the piece as ‘the most appropriate theme to relaunch both the urgency of safeguarding forests and the themes of sustainability and circular economy’.
Virtual Walden is open for tours until 11 June at Via Felice Casati, 16, Milano.