Eric Van Dreason


Camp Molasses

Advised by Danielle Choi

The traditional idea of the “camp” dates to the mid to late 19th century, when the idyll of nature was cast as a reprieve from a changing society where urban spaces were quickly transmuted by the fits and starts of industrial capitalism. This project utilizes the camp idea as a different kind of liminal space, casting it instead as a zone for active experimentation in building regenerative and localized flows of material within a place of production. The camp idea shifts, then, from a space that encourages the consumption of nature to, instead, a landscape that is continually being made and remade by teenage camp-goers themselves, underscoring the reality that their own environments are and have always been constructed. As the climate crisis looms, this thesis tests whether the seeds of a just transition can begin to be sown by camp-goers pursuing community through slow, meaningful labor and reciprocity with their environment. 

Black-and-white illlustrations of pine cones and needles, trunks and bark and the entire stucture of an evergreen tree. Human figures in background are hiking, planting and watering, and taking specimens.