We would like to present you a very interesting workshop, which was held at EASA 2014 in Bulgaria. The project had interested us with an unusual concept of “Games and Play”. My first question to author was about the base of it and the answer appeared much deeper than I’ve expected. “The act of playing has always been an integral part of everyday culture. Children play to develop motor skills and learning abilities, while adults play for creative and social purposes… Each game tells a story about where and when it happens.”The concept was derived by the participants in a quite impressive manner. They formed three groups and each of them had proposed an architectural intervention of concept together with constructing a working prototype. The locations of each proposal was chosen with a sense and understanding of workshop idea and history of the city architecture and Bulgarian society of soviet time and in present.

Competitive Play
Prototype: A two player game, where each player knocks on a table to ‘push’ a light towards his opponent. The game ends when light reaches the base of either player.
Proposal: The architectural proposal was for a light intervention on an abandoned soviet bridge in the city of VelikoTarnovo. Addressable light sections would flash in different sequences depending on how many people would touch the bridge’s railing. The aim is for visitors to compete for their own mark on the bridge crossing the Yantra River, an echo of the actions by Bulgaria’s past architects.

Collaborative Play
Prototype: A small ball is placed on a fabric held at three points, with each point being able to move up or down based on the player’s distance from the game. The game ends when the fabric is no longer held flat and the ball falls off.
Proposal: A light-space modulator in an abandoned soviet engine room, at the Yantra River dam. The corroded mechanical components on site, are the carcasses of engineering projects from an era when technological development was at its peak in eastern Europe. The light space modulator provides visitors to interact with the space through shadow puppetry, generating new mechanical spaces and projected experiences.

Zero Player Game
Prototype: A light following robot, based on the literature of Valentino Braitenberg – Vehicles (1986).
Proposal: The proposal was for the deployment of hundreds of small robots with very simple functions in the city of VelikoTarnovo. Reference is drawn from the shear scale of the EASA event, and how 500 people alter the functioning of a city.

Zero Player game seemed to me the most unusual from these three, as the game in its traditional meaning associates with some quantity of players, from one to hundred or maybe even more. The inspiration came from Valentino Braitenberg’s ‘Vehicles’, as it was mentioned above,and British mathematician John Conway’s ‘Game of Life’. This was a computer game which played itself after setting of initial parameters. The result was predetermined but not clear and it was really a zero player game.

 

The axis for idea of each part is a number of players and relationship in between them. Competitive, collaborative and zero player games are representing the connection types of the workshop participants and people in general. The team was prepared for using physical computing and experimenting with interactive architecture, but the project becomes more interesting as in general it is a result of improvisation.They are totally different from each other, but the aim of each is one and the same, to show and describe the process that is simply called life.

Press Play: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYeHK7KCoVo

 

Authors:

William Bondin (Interactive Architecture Lab, London) and Stefanie Wuschitz.

Participants:

Competitive Play: Marius Costan, Ali Can Erol, VeronikaSmetanina, Petra Ilijevic

Collaborative Play: Andrea Zerafa, James Dingli, Justin Coppini

Zero Player Game: KiprasKazlauskas, MortaPilkaite

 

Supported by SmartFabLab Sofia.

 

 

Author: Tata Alkhazashvili

 

 

 

 

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