Inspired by Constant’s New Babylon and re-appropriating the spaces of The Barbican Estate, the project proposes a game that reflects on architecture’s relationship to play. Barbecana takes the form of an augmented reality game that completely transforms the experience and atmosphere of the estate. At the same time the game brings about a new type of interaction with the void spaces contained within the site. Players are invited to collect different architectural elements by navigating the maze of elevated walkways around this particular area of London. With these elements players engage in a game of construction, where the ultimate goal is to build the longest bridge. Through the various rules of the game, players battle it out to have the longest and tallest structures. This new pervasive game creates a space that mediates between real and simulated urban experience. Through immersive gameplay Barbecana destabilises and blurs the spatial temporal nature of the site. At the same time as being a game, Barbecana also comments on contemporary trends of design and construction within the city, highlighting the current games played by construction industries.
Edward spent the year exploring the effects hyper-real computer games have on the experience and design of built architecture and the city. The thesis studied the effect a game like Grand Theft Auto V has on the discourse of the modern metropolis that it is based on: Los Angeles. This took the form of a written parody of the famous ‘Reyner Banham Loves L.A.’ where Professor Reyner Banham acts out an edited cultural representative tour of the city.