Playing the Picturesque represents one of the first examples of a hybrid practice combining the fields of architectural and videogame design. The project culminated in an interactive installation arising from research in these two fields.
Comprised of five folly structures and six digital videogames, the installation uses interactive game environments to expose visitors to historical architectural design principles by presenting a hybrid architecture that exists within both the physical and the virtual. Each folly and game are designed in response to historical drawings from the RIBA archive, using game mechanisms to hybridise physical and virtual spaces with Picturesque design principles. Each game requires two participants in order to fully experience the virtual world, challenging both the Picturesque ideal of a singular viewer and the notion of gaming as a solitary activity.
Playing the Picturesque was commissioned by the RIBA, won through an open international competition with 80 entries. A drawing of the project is now part of the RIBA’s permanent collection.