Author: Anna Mytcul
Gamification is the usage of game elements and principles in a non-game setting, such as the architectural context (Tian et al., 2017). Implementing a gamification approach into the architectural design process has immense potential for facilitating the non-architect user’s engagement in decision-making procedures and decreasing confusion in the general public regarding the architectural design process.
Emerging technologies, artificial intelligence, and advanced software compel the architect to change their role from the interpreter and connector between an end-user and a builder to the constraint maker of a design system. Instead of expounding a user’s desires, the architect becomes a “narrator” who guides the end-user to the final design solution. In this framework, the architect’s professional duties overlap with those of a game designer. Both see the world through the user’s eyes, gathering and analyzing the user feedback, setting “rules” with concern for their experience in a designed space or gameplay. This thesis proposes ARchitect, a game seeking to promote and explore this framework and become a possible answer to the trends of mass customization in architecture as well as to suggest a solution to the problem of public’s confusion regarding design democratization.
The proposed multisensory game should become an educative tool for users to make informed decisions and reflect their vision of their individualized dwelling design. The thesis argues that overcoming educational challenges in architecture through gamification focused on the design of a single-family house will enable the players to transition from users to co-designers, thereby democratizing design by facilitating mass customization.