The Oasis


Narita Ico, Megan Berry, and Robert Ferguson

ENDS 401

The Oasis is an outdoor classroom that offers new opportunities for individual and collective reflection in nature. This pavilion was created for the Vancouver based installation artist, Holly Schmidt, who required a nomadic learning environment which would work to refocus non-visual senses. Curtains of the structure blur and soften the surroundings, diminishing participants’ sense of sight. Sensitivity to sound, smell, touch and even taste is heightened as participants immerse themselves in a newly defamiliarized world. When facing outwards of the circle, people can and experience their surrounding environment with Holly at the center of the circle, being a guiding voice, while remaining out of their site. This also offers the opportunity for students to contribute to the discussion with relative anonymity. By turning inward into the circle, participants reconfigure the pavilion to an egalitarian space for learning and collaboration. The Oasis will offer new interactions to how the outdoors is experienced, making those who visit the site more aware to the things they may not have noticed before.