For PRS3 in Gent, WHAT_architecture will continue its venturous practices and risk-taking pursuits by abandoning the conventions of the archilecture typically characterised by a project trawl monologue. What do you think Gent? (Use your phone: text, stills, video, audio, LIKE).

To help create a game we will briefly dissect gameplay’s three critical components: Space, Time and Players. Lose any one component and play will cease to occur and so the manner in which these components are bound together, by rules, defines the WHAT_gameshow and gives it identity. From Plato to playdoh to PlayStation, play has long held a fascination for its creative interactivity. WHAT_gameshow questions the archilecture and puts the fun back into functionality. To play this game you have to press LIKE to Enter / Exit.

To facilitate the creative stimulus of the audience, building user friendliness, in WHAT_gameshow we will kick off by appraising architecture as football. After all, architects play football (Ben van Berkel, Jacques Herzog…), design football (Allianz Arena, Estadio Municipal de Braga, Stadio Communal de Firenze, Portsmouth Stadium…), die football (Shankly, Mourinho whiteboards).

1. Space / Cartesian / 2D flatness / Gameboard / Playing field? For football this is approximately 70m x 100m. Where is game space in architecture.? In the flat gameboard-like Lowlands The site? Or the office’s day-to-day layout? Am I Vlaanderen or floundering?

2. Time / duration / being first / avant garde / innovation? A football match lasts 90 minutes although there is ‘injury time’, ‘extra time’, ‘golden time’. When is it game time in Architecture? Spiegel Online recently reported that the Wangjing Soho project by Zaha Hadid is being constructed twice. “Pirates are in the process of copying one of her provocative designs and the race is on to see who can finish first”. What value is design speed vs build speed? Obviously the design comes before the building but which do we see first? Magazines would say the building.Reality over virtual. But what about Architecture or Resolution? Digital design today means the image looks like the building but built! The accelerates architectural recognition! You win more competitions! Then awards! >What would the WHAT_architecture Award be for and who would receive it? Rem Koolhaas? Magda Szerla? Or the Bishop of Willesden?

3. Players / peers / roles? There are 22 players in a football game excluding substitutes. The best players are bought by the biggest clubs. Who are the players in architecture? In public procurement, only big offices are invited to play. A big player is measured by turnover, staff numbers, employee type. Or you adopt a younger more pressing game: make your name in the magazines. There are at least a Dezeen player formations in football range from the traditional 4-4-2 to 3-5-2 to the 4-3-2-1 which most closely assumes the pyramidal management hierarchies found in most large offices. Small offices keep it closer, often deploying flat organisational structures. AT WHAT_architecture we call it the Intern/National style. You win what you play: be as good as you can be for yourself and the team. Quick exchanges of information, tiki taka style. A fast controlled movement of a ball of ideas. Natalia: I think we should number the chairs 1-15.

Game on! It’s GameShow coming to you live from Gent. April 27th.


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