Posted on: February 17, 2009

Check out the winners of the 2009 Skyscraper competition at Evolvo!

This is just … beautiful! I really wish, if nothing else just for the sake of art, that all of these structures are built during my lifetime!



1 Response to "Evolve!"

It gives me hope to see that there is a field of engineer-dependent design where designs like these are allowed to exist. Sure, few of them will be made real, but the mere fact that they’re exposed as interesting designs indicate that the engineers don’t own the field of architecture.

Just look at http://www.evolo-arch.com/dskyh.html for instance. If I would translate that design to my field of game design, the equivalent of saying “we need to get machines up to the top of that mountain to fasten supporting steel beams into the side of it” might lead to a laugh… at best. Or looks of compassionate concern for my sanity.

It is very, very, very, very difficult to create a context where designers can create art experiences supported by engineers. Back in the sixties there were a couple of teams like that here in Sweden and in other places around the world, where an artist teamed up with an engineer to create computer aided art pieces. This worked because the engineers were given an excuse to play around with novel technology and try out its limitations.

Translated to a business context, that’s lost in the process. The constant strife to get stuff shipped means the space for experimentation is super small.

Speaking from my own situation here, so I’m not sure how well this translates to other game companies. This company is very engineer oriented. It was founded, as many others, by a group of programmers. Pitches to clients are done with feature lists. The space for design exploration is very small. When a project starts, it carries programmers and designers in a setup made to start grinding out releaseable code.

It is a struggle to get the space needed for prototyping. Also, too many have opinions on the design process, without the proper knowledge to back them up. “This can’t be that difficult!”, “Just do a quick solution” are phrases often repeated. The result is a patchwork without direction.

Returning to the skyscrapers, I’m also jealous of the well defined requirements for the design. Don’t fall down. All who live in there should have windows. Apartments should be in sizes ranging from X – Z.

There’s a a well defined language of architecture that those involved in the process sign off on. The need for light in an apartment. For walls that shut out sounds to an extent of X decibels.

Sure, there are definitely areas where debate arises, where the engineer driven part of the team fail to see the point of spending huge amounts of resources on something they can’t grasp the value of. This is intrinsic to the design field, not all concepts carry through easily.

Mmm. I feel this isn’t the place to spend enough time to expand on my thoughts so that they’re understandable. I hope they don’t seem like complete ramblings. Would really be interested in your input.

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