Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Blockholm: Crowdsourcing City Planning with Minecraft

The Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design has announced a project where the topographic site for Stockholm has been reproduced in Minecraft and people are invited to rebuild the city virtually.

Blockholm opens on 24 October and allows people to realize the city they always dreamed of. It is interesting as it allows a form of modelling and design rarely practiced on a large scale in city planning. According to the website (not my translation):

Blockholm - A new Stockholm in Minecraft

In architecture, work is in digital tools and models. What happens when these tools become available to anyone? Maybe we can see where the road will be, the house was to stand. Building a model in three dimensions and show how we think. In Block Holm will all be with. A simple method, the same for all, we can build a new city, block by block. We have cleared the city of all past. There is something scary, yet liberating in to start anew.

How can we change our city?

Can the game be a way to show what we think and what we want? In Blockholm we build all side by side, adult children, our dreams and ideas. Everybody has the same conditions but with different starting points. We can test ideas and forms without preconditions, possible and impossible. We have a new way to have a conversation with each other and with policy makers.

The digital mirror image

- By maintaining the road network, we can orient ourselves in this amazing reflection. The basic structure is the same, but everything is different, says Markus Bohm, artist and project manager:
- We want to create a meeting between the game's realities and current urban planning and architecture. Minecraft has become a great platform for creativity and we want to show new ways of working, new ways to organize.

The world's largest Architecture and Design Projects

Each property in today Stockholm is an identical plot in Blockholm.
- We have generated approximately 100,000 construction sites. It will be the world's largest architecture and design projects in terms of number of participants. We will release district for district to allow the city to emerge piecemeal. All participants will work side by side and see how the city is emerging from within. There is a huge process that anyone can follow. In an interactive map on the internet, the construction of blocks islet seen in real time, says Mats Karlsson, architect and project manager.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Really interesting James, thanks​!​

I think that you would be really interested in some recent research that I have come across about crowds and citizen science.​ ​In particular I feel you may find these two emerging pieces of research very relevant:

- The Theory of Crowd Capital

- The Contours of Crowd Capability

Powerful stuff!