ArchiArchiZoomZoom

ArchiArchiZoomZoom is a virtual world accessible via website, where the user can attempt to build a city around them. Conceptually, it’s an exploration of a couple of things.

Duplitecture is a term relating to copying of architecture, most of which is currently happening in China. Every building on this slide is an example of duplitecture. There are entire Chinese communities made to resemble western cities — Venice and Paris, for example — and there are vast amounts of one-off copies and caricatures of western architecture. The buildings within my project are pieces of duplitecture, ripped from their place of origin, dropped on a blank canvas, and distorted just enough to make them uncanny.

ArchiArchiZoomZoom is also an exploration of the act of making digital copies, particularly bringing attention the the ease of creating unlimited amounts of things.

Finally, it’s an echo to the avant-garde, neo-futurist architects of the past, like Archigram, Archizoom, and Superstudio. These groups spent their careers combining technology and architecture, envisioning utopian landscapes, and criticizing contemporary architectural theory and practice.

When the user enters ArchiArchiZoomZoom, they are presented with a series of quotes from these groups. From these quotes, three key phrases are highlighted, each one a global rule enacted in the virtual world:

For those who, like ourselves, are convinced that architecture is one of the few ways to realize cosmic order on earth, to put things according to reason, it is a ‘moderate utopia’ to imagine a near future in which all architecture will be created with a single act, from a single design capable of clarifying once and for all the motives which have induced man to build dolmens, menhirs, pyramids, and lastly to trace (ultima ratio) a white line in the desert. ―Superstudio, 1969

The fundamental characteristics of futuristic architecture will be expendability and transience. Our house will last less time than we do, every generation must make its own city. ―Archigram

Today, in order to create a new architecture and new urban spaces … one has to plunge one’s hands into that vast planktonic soup of products, technologies, pictures, signs and data which make up the artificial universe in which man is completely immersed. … Design, bravely operating within the world of production and consumption, has gained its new found supremacy through being the only planning entity able to transform reality. ―Andrea Branzi, Archizoom, 1993

The project can be viewed in a browser, but is mainly meant to be explored using a virtual reality headset, in this case, a Google Cardboard.

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