Luke Pearson: Toward a Videogame Urbanism

  • 1pm - 2pm

  • Adam House, Adam House Lecture Theatre
    3 Chambers Street
    EH1 1HT

Led by Luke Pearson, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

Architects and game designers share many similarities: both create environments to meet the specific needs of inhabitants, that promote certain behaviours and experiences. Yet games spaces tend to diverge from 'reality' into conditions where atmospheres are intensified, and actions are more strictly programmed. Yet it is this intensification and abstraction of real systems that is the unique charge of the videogame form, and one that positions games as a key new medium for architectural design and its representation.

This talk will investigate what is unique about videogame spaces and their construction, and how they might be utilised by architects. It will discuss how to establish videogames as an architectural medium through practice-based research projects, examining game worlds as architectural spaces by developing design methods to analyze their environments. It will also explore the development of games as architectural representations combining virtual space with computational rules and how this can start to inform design practices for ostensibly 'real' sites. With reference to both my own research and work from our Videogame Urbanism studio, the talk will outline a new form of architectural design practice operating between physical and virtual, reflecting the cultural influence of game worlds and exploring videogame environments as new ways to 'realise' architecture.


Luke Pearson is a Lecturer in Architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL where he is also Co-Director of the BSc Architecture programme. He is the co-founder of the design research practice You+Pea with Sandra Youkhana. Together they run the Videogame Urbanism lab at the Bartlett where their research operates at the intersection of architecture and game design. You+Pea have exhibited commissioned game-based works at venues including Now Play This 2018, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Royal Institute of British Architects. Luke has written for publications such as eflux Architecture, FRAME, Thresholds, The Journal of Architectural Education and ARQ and is co-editor of Architectural Design: Re-Imagining the Avant-Garde (Wiley, 2019).

Free and all welcome