052-0562-00L  Territories of Play - Surveying Architecture Through Gaming (FS)

SemesterSpring Semester 2021
LecturersF. Charbonnet, P. Heiz
Periodicityevery semester recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish
CommentThis course (with "00L" at the end) can only be passed once. Please check before signing up!


052-0562-00 STerritories of Play - Surveying Architecture Through Gaming (FS)
No course on 26.3. (seminar week), during Easter Holidays and public holidays as well as before final critiques (s. room reservations).
2 hrs
Fri15:45-17:30HCI E 2 »
F. Charbonnet, P. Heiz

Catalogue data

AbstractThis seminar will challenge students to take a complementary look onto the built environment through the lenses of Gaming, focusing on specific episodes in order to draw relations between the notions of Play/Game, Society and Architecture.
ObjectiveThe seminar addresses a way of perceiving reality which has become key, with the gaming industry reaching unforeseen volumes in output and sales, as well as gaming theories sitting at the core of general social and financial strategies and policies. Besides offering students steady footing on the makings of an architectural publication, by confronting students with key texts and voices in the past and present of gaming theory and praxis, the seminar will provide them with a complementary tool with which to approach architecture and urbanism.
ContentFrom Game Theory to Dices, touching Go, Hide-and-seek or Sims, a multitude of games and acts of play will serve as standing points for the perception and re-reading of the functioning of societies and the built environments these give rise to. The seminar will be structured into three distinct moments:
An in-depth introduction to the theoretical frame of the seminar through three lectures; by a game designer, by an architectural historian or architect, and by the seminar's tutor. Key theoretical works and authors - Jesse Schell, Johan Huizinga and Katie Salen & Eric Zimmerman - will thus be presented and analyzed, hinting at possible bridges to a critical analysis of architecture and the built environment through its decomposition into Mechanics, Aesthetics, Narrative and Technology, the four pillars of game design. A moment of individual work when students will be invited to select a game, dissect it according to the theoretical input previously received, and select a key aspect of it. This key aspect will in turn be used as lenses through which students should analyze and question their reality, a milieu of their own choice: from the spaces and urban situations formulating their daily routine in the city, to their hometown or fetish city. From this analysis, a visual -drawings and images- and written essay presenting and defending their hypothesis of reading of their milieu through gaming should emerge. The writing will be conducted mostly during the seminar's attendance time. And a final moment when students are to produce a ludic publication compiling the classes' essays into an accessible survey.

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits2 credits
ExaminersF. Charbonnet
Typegraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition only possible after re-enrolling for the course unit.

Learning materials

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Offered in

Architecture BachelorDesign and ArchitectureWInformation