COMPUTER GAMING, BIOTECHNOLOGY AND ARCHITECTURE: EMBEDDING THE INTERSECTION WITHIN AN ARCHITECTURAL CURRICULUM
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Today, leading computer games provide real time environments including spaces, objects and characters that range (by manipulating an enormous array of parameters and being subject to simulations of real world physics) from the super realistic to the super delirious. Biotechnology, although apparently unrelated, also requires the manipulation of information in space and time and promises to affect environments in a range of ways that is at least as extreme. The opportunities suggested by an intersection between Architecture, Computer Gaming and Biotechnology were instrumental in the creation of courses and topics for students in first year right through to students studying toward a Masters degree. This paper reflects on and critically reviews the implementation, strategies and outcomes of embedding the intersection between Computer Gaming and Biotechnology within an Architectural curriculum. It draws from the experience of over 500 students, two Universities and major technological shifts. It develops the notion of the experiment in design. In contrast with the introduction of computer gaming technology into a core first year course, that had the underlying aim of including these technologies as a part of a general design curriculum, the introduction of issues connecting architecture with biotechnology (through computer gaming technology) reflects the specific research agenda of the author and is not intended for general application across an architectural curriculum. For more general application it could be seen as a strategy to promote cross disciplinary collaboration through the concept of the ‘boundary object’.
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