You+Pea is a unique design studio by Sandra Youkhana and Luke Caspar Pearson. It is a research-based studio in London which investigates ways of expanding architectural representations by using virtual game technologies as a medium. Known for establishing the Videogame Urbanism studio at Bartlett School of Architecture, London, the studio brings a platform for new-age architects to learn to use interactive video games to question their design theories and to develop new inferences.
Video Games with their increasing popularity when integrated with their research become an effective way to engage with users. Simultaneously it is also becoming a means for architects to explore creative schemes and established old theories based on their research.
The architect duo has so far collaborated with various prestigious institutions such as the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Victoria and Albert Museum, Tokyo University of Arts.
Here are 15 incredible projects by You + Pea:
1. Playing the Picturesque
Commissioned by RIBA, as a part of the London architecture Festival 2019, the video game is a playful integration of real-life historic structures and virtual environments through digital projections. Inspired by architect John Nash’s scenic Regents Park, the game blurs the boundaries between the real and virtual. The real-life landmarks are a junction between the two realms rather than just being landscape markers. The exhibition ran from 4th June to 7th September 2019.
2. Peep Pop City
Peep Pop City is not a usual video game. It is a real-world game that uses miniature pieces derived from the urban language of London which are placed in an infinity box. The multiplayer game connects with a general audience and helps them understand design logic at an urban level.
It is an interactive video game incorporated with traditional Perspective drawings of the Renaissance. The game is designed to be played with a team of four, each of which has to handle a different viewport. The viewport offers each of the players to navigate through perspective projection, plan, elevation, and flat images in order to combine all frames together to form a perspective of a room like a jigsaw puzzle. The game is inspired by Hans Vredeman de Vries and his perspective studies during the Renaissance.
4. Architecture [After Games]
Devised for Victoria and Albert Museum in London as part of their Friday programme, the virtual game is based on the diversity of V&A museum artefacts. Just as the artefacts, the video game stretches in varied world environments and the museum spaces itself.
5. Everyone Is Architecture
Everyone is Architecture is a collaborative game also using augmented reality techniques to derive experimental architecture. AR cameras were positioned in a field project to get the visitors into the virtual environment controlled by participants. These participants can experiment and investigate notions of architecture design using built-in elements while collaborating with the ever-changing virtual reality.
6. Church Of Colocation
A part of the Architectural Fringe 2019 and a drawing commission for ‘Re-Types’, the project derives adaptive repurpose of Churches as a place to store data. The game is an interactive design proposal and presents Churches as unique data storage centres located in the physical world and storing physical copies of the numerous cloud data of the present time. It argues on the design aspects of churches being best suitable for the purpose while also being easily accessible.
7. Prototyping Cities Through Virtual Play
As a part of the international conference ‘IN THE CITY’ by Strelka Institute, the research proposes new interactive ways of city design by using Videogame as a medium. It outlines the similarities between video games and the built environment. It also describes the virtual way of questioning built spaces and even reframes them.
8. The Planning Portal
The Planning Portal uses social implications and opinions that surround a building into architecture. It suggests that buildings don’t only inhabit but are perpetual documentation of the social and political environment around them. The work was shortlisted and exhibited in the Peckham Levels as a part of the London Architecture Festival 2016.
9. London Developers Toolkit
With the ever-increasing skyline and escalating skyscrapers in London, London Developers Toolkit is a response to the residential developments in the city. The app allows the general audience to devise their own high rises with extensive creativity. It also provides a platform to produce for potential investors.
10. Mips-maps Kiosk
The project builds an idea of camouflaged architecture using the technology of Mip-Maps from computer graphics. Mip-Maps are mostly used by Google Earth which enables the feature of ‘Detail on Zooming’. These are available in both high and low resolutions and facilitates effective disguise on zooming out.
11. Imagineer’s Toolkit
The toolkit is a hand-held device functioning as a guide map for Disneyland. It is an interactive tool that has elaborate features of showcasing alternate routes, and has tools that decode buildings when set against them.
12. Folkets Portal
The design project is derived from the conceptual portal of the digital age which lets us into the vast sea of information. The two gates of the Folkets park in Sweden, are abstracted to form these entrances which are similar parallels. A single gate is enough to make visitors curious and encourages them to walk more to understand the entire design.
13. Universal Tea Machine
Universal Tea Machine pavilion designed for the London Olympics 2012. The pavilion uses computational technologies for play and greater public engagement.
14. Tokyo Irtbbc Walking Simulator
The game is a part of the Tokyo IRTBBC, which explores four different alternatives to the backup city with varied scenarios. The game navigates through all four through split viewports and elaborates the design proposal as the player navigates through it.
15. Media Planning
It is a research project investigating how ways of representation and the medium of communication transform the regulation of the built environment and design.
Pearson., S. Y. a. L. C., n.d. You+pea. [Online]
Available at: https://www.youandpea.com/