Other Spaces: Subaqueous 2015

California College of the Arts
San Francisco, California


Advanced Design Studio


Completed, 2015


T Jason Anderson
Peter Hyer


We charge that architecture is an experiential medium. While a large component of architectural design operates through representation, the phenomenal world is ultimately the medium within which our propositions as architects will be sited. With rapidly increasing processing speeds and developing technologies in areas such as augmented reality, virtual reality and visualization, as well as more complex building information modeling, we are growing ever closer to a collapse of representation with actual world. The process of designing video games has already seen one type of collapse of this sense, as video game engines are now edited within the gamespace, the editing components and the playtesting components thinly separated by a simple click of the ‘play’ button. In this sense, real-time prototyping is a current function of video game design, eliminating the delay within the feedback from the majority of the process.

This Advanced Studio will interrogate the overlap of architectural design and video game design as we explore what these tools will afford architectural designers, and ask “what happens to architectural representations when they become experiential?”. This inquiry will take our understood workflow of architectural design and hybridize this process with the development of a video game level. Each part of these processes will be examined and tested in relation to each other, and this feedback will be used to refine our method of development. The studio will deliver a set of spatial constructions that exist in between the definition of video games and architectural space, existing as a purely experiential virtual space. While most architectural projects propose an environment to be constructed in the actual physical world, this studio will invert the typical role of representation, instead accepting the virtual asthe authentic original.