When you think of a city, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Most likely it is the stuff that it is made up of: its streets and buildings, its parks and squares. But what sets a city apart, aside from its architecture, is how all that stuff is put to use. A city’s nightlife, a city’s cuisine, a city’s culture. In other words, what people make of the space they live in when they are at play.
Play isn’t limited to the ‘soft side’ of urbanism. In fact, it turns out a building isn’t some prefixed structure capable of doing one thing only. Adaptation and reuse continuously transform what a city’s architecture is for, often from the bottom up. In this way, a city’s people shape their homes as well, quite literally.
What is at work in this process of city transformation, is nothing less than play. In cities, just as in games, people and the space they inhabit shape each other. Thus, in our Western cities, where reuse is overtaking construction of new space, we are all becoming architects.
Kars looks at how game culture and play shape the urban fabric, how we might design systems that improve people’s capacity to do so, and how you yourself, through play, can transform the city you call home.