Intermediate 11 Valeria Armendariz - diluting toxicity at the mouth of the Rio Tinto, 2016-17

Total Immersive Tour Operator 2017: Black Toxic

Manuel Collado Arpia, Nacho Martín Asunción, Nerea Calvillo

This year the unit will continue its exploration of toxic contexts through radical touristic speculations, engaging with urgent global environmental issues whilst amplifying the relations between body and altered natures, triggering a new consciousness towards these complex landscapes.

Following our investigations last year into the Rio Tinto mines, this year we will dive into the biggest ecological disaster in Europe: Portman Bay, located in the south of Spain, where an immense, artificial black beach is just one consolidated register of almost half a century of toxic waste disposal. Invisible and almost abandoned, Portman Bay is paradoxically adjacent to one of the most popular tourist destinations of the 1970s, 80s and 90s - La Manga del Mar Menor - and is surrounded by a delicate environmental and cultural ecosystem of beaches, religious traditions and flamenco festivals.

We will engage with these obvious tensions through immersive experiences, exploring how the body and technology can be fundamental instruments in expanding knowledge and intervening in the environment. In doing so we will adopt equally immersive design tools, from 360-degree perspectives to virtual reality, and will draw on the countercultural practices described in the Whole Earth Catalog to generate critical and creative responses to this hyper-contemporary black and toxic context.

Unit Staff

Manuel Collado Arpia and Nacho Martín Asunción are founders of the Madrid-based office Mi5VR. Since 2003 they have taught at various institutions such as UAH Madrid, UA Alicante and UCJC and IED Madrid. They have won several architectural competitions and regularly participate in juries, guest lectures and have exhibited their work at the Venice Biennale, RIBA London, IVAM Valencia and GD-NYU. They both obtained their PhDs from ETSAM Madrid in 2013.

Nerea Calvillo is an architect, researcher and curator. Both the work of her office, C+ arquitectos, and her visualisation projects have been widely published and exhibited. She has taught at the UEM, Alicante University, the AA and Harvard GSD. Formerly a Poiesis Fellow at NYU and curator of Medialab-Prado's Connecting Cities Network European project, she is assistant professor at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies at the University of Warwick. She holds a PhD from ETSAM Madrid.


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