MetaPlay workshop is a 6 days long online design workshop which investigates the potentials of using emerging technologies such as parametric design and modelling tools, and augmented reality / virtual reality tools to explore and rethink built environment design that is digitally conceived and experienced.
The workshop will operate as a micro design studio that will impart hands-on digital and parametric modelling skills as well as skills in using cutting edge game engine and CGI tools within AEC industry to all participants. Participants organized in groups will be expected to apply this knowledge to design and build architectural scale projects within a virtual environment by the end of 6 days.
The workshop will be curated by Avani Institute of Design, India in partnership with Design Future Foundation and Dezact, London
Technology development has evolved drastically in the past couple years due to an unforeseen crisis that has never happened in human history. Going digital was one of the only ways for society to maintain its function and cope with the disruption caused by COVID19. A newly introduced digital lifestyle not only transforms the way human lives, works, learns and plays, but also triggers a series of rethinking processes about our physical / mental boundaries, intimacy between human beings and production culture.
Social media and online games are seen to replace city squares, parks and become new types of social spaces. Working remotely, shopping digitally, playing virtually not only changes the way human beings engage with physical objects and spaces, but also redefines the relationship between daily routines. The in-situ experience has been pushed to a highly visual and imaginative experience. Personal boundaries have been expanded. More and more people also start seeking an alternative / more gamified environment where the “play” component becomes the centric element that drives an activity one participates in.
Architects as the creators of our built environment are particularly good at creating functioning and structurally sound spaces using traditional materials such as brick and timber, however, many digital materials and systems are now hinting at the change of our building infrastructure. The built environment is no longer static, rigid with the introduction of XR / MR / VR technologies. Therefore, in this workshop we are particularly interested in the convergence of virtual and physical spaces, raising questions about how the boundary should be drawn and exploring a new way of participation in spaces with technologies that can enhance, transform or superimpose extra layers of information to the existing environment.
Students will investigate this present condition by working with interdisciplinary methodologies and emerging media tools such as Maya and Unreal as well as explore how new technologies can reinforce social and spatial hierarchies in virtual or mixed reality environments, creating unique spatial qualities through a series of advanced geometric operations learnt from the course, which will lead to a final design where play becomes the dominant component of the spaces.