SIMULATING SOCIETY | Stockholm, Sweden | Unit 21 | 2017
Awarded Distinction for Design & Distinction for Thesis
The city of Stockholm is in the grip of an immense housing crisis, engendered by a pioneering egalitarian housing system that has been diluted by austerity and conservative governments. A new social hierarchy has emerged based not on where one is able to live, but rather how long they can live there for. Stockholm’s inner city is gridlocked, with nowhere for new residents to go. The infrastructure was adequate for much of the 20th century, now Sweden’s unique unitary housing model has become a twenty year waiting list for inner city homes, creating an ever increasing gap between the haves and have nots. Sweden is now struggling to maintain its ideals of providing housing for all.
By using this time based social hierarchy as a tool for investigation, a new simulation, made using a layered organisational strategy of time based buildings and infrastructure is proposed to change players social thinking from a typical location based society, to a time based one. A series of architectural levels tailored to each time period teach players about the rules associated with this new society, changing the way they view their city and changing Stockholm for the better.
Players spawn in the centre of the game in an Ikea showroom, this forms their home in the game which contains the “A Time Based Architecture” guide which helps keep track of which levels have been unlocked as the game is explored. The guide is not given but earned by completing the first game where players must dive beneath the waters of the thermal baths below their new home. Here they must collect statistics about the housing crisis to gain the “A Time Based Architecture” guide and unlock the second level. Subsequent games are played on each level which teach players about their new time based society, such as using giant fans on the clean air towers to neutralise pollutants at street level or maintaining the botanical gardens by keeping the Air BnB modules occupied. Once all levels are unlocked players must periodically re-complete games to maintain the functioning of their new city.
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