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ADS12: Melee

Adam Price

Adam is a student whose interests manifest in the social implications of Architecture, predominantly focussing on progressive design methodologies that seek to advance and challenge societal conventions. Recent projects have explored latent discourses through the design of typologies for work, living and play in mediums ranging across animation, image making, physical modelling and activism. 

After studying his undergraduate degree at the University of Bath, Adam moved to London in 2019 to complete his MA at the Royal College of Art, where he hopes to embrace the interdisciplinary systems of the institute to further his design skills and knowledge. After finishing his studies, he intends to work in the field of Architecture and expand on his understanding of what it means to be a part of the profession. 

Degree Details

School of Architecture

ADS12: Melee

Video games are progressively becoming a more favoured reality to that of primary London. Their clarity in rules and boundless fiction can at times contrast the disorientating and uninspiring contemporary city that is lived today. Creating worlds based on alternate realities, their practice sets forth a more easily accessible and appealing form of collective gathering in a society that makes it increasingly hard to do so. In regard to these new forms of modern behaviours, an exploration into the ‘half real’ methodologies of synthetic worlds is conducted. Subsequently, this leads to a thesis that looks to develop how such fictional mechanisms fabricated in these digital worlds might begin to renovate residents’ tangible interactions with the concrete realities of London.

To challenge the digital immediate separating these fantasies from authentic reality, a new fiction is created in which the systems of such domains are made palpable. The design realises a future scenario for an augmented public realm; imagining a new fidelity to the traditional urban square that seeks to address the growing prominence of video games as a chosen form of civic participation. To confront these changing customs, the crowd is used as a subject for a game: a ruled fiction to draw residents back into physical London.

Long before the events of the last year, crowds were becoming ever more atomised, and pushed further into their homes. Crowds have become more domesticated, enclosed, scrutinised and expensive to be a part of. The crowd, as a body, has developed into a misconception; a surreal fantasy that has quickly become a distant reality of urban practice. Narrating a latent imaginary, ‘Half Real’ draws on the makings of crowds and the growing illusion that surrounds them; painting a picture in which the desire to gather in mass initiates a functional typology in itself. In doing so, an alternate reality is crafted for a post pandemic London, testing the boundaries between architecture and the hermetic world of video games.

An Augmented Square — Located on a site just north of St Paul’s Cathedral, a gamescape is constructed as a fantasy for the existing public square. Presenting a future where the urban realm no longer exists in forms propped up by contemporary leisure, the architecture is an imagination of what civic residency could be in a world where crowds have become mere fiction.
Crowd Episodes: Ruled with Fiction — Architectural episodes form interventions of respective crowd phenomena. Formed of a geometrical rule and meshed fiction, they sit in the landscape as abstractions of such behaviours; re-animating a public realm that has been left derelict by the growing restrictions placed on crowds.
Phenomena in Sequence — A series of routes through the square are created for the players, where crowd phenomena occur in a sequence of events. Whilst multiple paths overlap to create complex interactions, the scenario delivers a primary route from west to east |right| and three respective buildings |left| as a reimagination of the existing city walkway and retail fronts.
Function from Geometry, Part A — The project considers the crowd as a geometry, where simple behaviours in multitude lead to abstract forms.
Function from Geometry, Part B — Through certain actions of the crowd, functions are produced: crowds colliding call for protests, crowds gathering produce vigils, crowds condensed form parades. Function arises from geometry, where the sole purpose of an architecture is to orchestrate the masses.
Distant Realities: Episode Interior — Inside the episodes, pneumatic forms animate the geometries of the site through forces of tension; providing secluded realms in which the crowd is invited to act. The reflective inner surface of the membranes and supported panels distort the visual environment, whilst a partial transparency illuminates the interior.
City Walkway: A Dyadic Architecture — The picture envisions a new walkway and associated occupation for the City; challenging the existing forms of civic occupancy that have become non-existent over the last year. Through a dyadic architecture, structural geometries sit in the landscape as characters of crowd behaviours, where the pneumatic episodes aid players to navigate the abstract rules.
Crowd Streams: New Forms of Leisure — Whilst the augmented realm hosts the crowd events for the player, the retail lets are re-purposed to address the growing forms of leisure involving the watching of video games. A design utilises three buildings as forms of crowd streaming, where participants are placed at the boundary of the crowd, offering a surreal encounter with the behaviours that have become so fictionalised.