Call for Book Contributions and Project Presentations


Games, Architecture, and Urbanism.


Essays and statements (Word doc): 15.05.2006
Projects descriptions and designs (PDF): 15.05.2006


What is computer and video game space – and: is there an architectural history of game space-time? How do architectures, city spaces, and landscapes change when they are transformed into physical game boards, or when they become an extension of a desktop computer game? How can architects and urban designers apply games and game technologies as tools for drafting and planning?

Across 500 pages, the edited book publication Space Time Play will investigate these questions by compiling designs, best practice examples, as well as essays, interviews, succinct statements, and game space analyses.

The editors have already confirmed contributions to Space Time Play by internationally renowned theoreticians and practitioners, including: Gerhard M. Buurman, Kees Christiaanse, Drew Davidson, Alberto Iacovoni, Jesper Juul, Heather Kelley, Neil Leach, Lev Manovich, Jesse Schell, Mark Wigley, and Eric Zimmerman.

Space Time Play will not only feature these authors, but also aspiring players from the fields of architecture, urbanism, game design, game studies, and the arts. These researchers and artists will present their thoughts, games, and/or theme related works and designs.

The editors are looking for contributions to Space Time Play in the
form of essays, project descriptions, and statements. We would like to ask potential contributors to consider the following questions, which are shaping the three main sections of Space Time Play. Please note the submission requirements and procedure in the bottom of this call.


A Brief Space Time History of Interactive Entertainment.


  • In which ways are computer and video games constructed spatially and architecturally?
  • Which games are milestones concerning their spatial quality, and why?
  • Which methods of architectural history and theory could be used to evaluate the spatial development and spatial quality of computer and video games?
  • What is the relationship of game space and game time?
  • What kind of experience or method in the field of game design could be applied to the development and evaluation of architecture and urban design?
  • Which architectural projects should be considered milestones of a new playful architecture, and why?
  • Which physical architectures have been influenced by computer or video games?
  • In how far do innovations of "real" architecture influence game architecture, and vice versa?
  • What can architects and level designers learn from one another?
  • What kinds of interfaces exist between game design and architectural design?


  • You use your game experience to design spaces in the "real" world?
  • You are a game designer and your games have been influenced by specific architectural objects or urban situations in the real world?

We are looking forward to presenting your projects (realized or design
stage, commercial or artistic).


Computerizing Dwellings, Cities, and Landscapes for Play Experiences

The city has always been offering spaces for games and play, for example stadiums, coliseums, theaters, playgrounds, or street grid labyrinths. In recent years, computer games have progressed beyond the computer desktop and have acquired a new play dimension by using areas such as cities, buildings, or parks as playing fields.


  • How do mobile games (as well as augmented, hybrid, and mixed reality play scenarios) modify the perception and usage of physical space? Which design and behavioral patterns can be identified?
  • How will public space as well as public activities and performance change if interactive entertainment leaves the private home behind to enter public space?
  • What new types of spaces, buildings, and cities might emerge when games are superimposed on existing spatial structures, thereby embedding a novel (urban) function?
  • What kinds of new architectures, urban spaces, and landscapes are emerging by the way of pervasive games?
  • Will pervasive games open up a new horizon of a playful city or will pervasive games be the Trojan horse of new technologies of surveillance and control?


  • You have developed pervasive or ubiquitous games?
  • You designed new computing devices, tools, interfaces, or techniques which could also be used for games in urban space or in computer / sensor integrated buildings?

Whether your background is more design or art related, technological, or economical

  • we are looking forward to present your game (realized or design stage).


Utilizing Computer Games and Technologies for Architectural and Urban Planning.


  • When games are being used in planning processes – what is the relation of everyday affordances and the integrity of the magic circle?
  • What is the spatial, social, and economical relation of "real space-time" and alternate reality?
  • What can architects and planners learn from the spatial and social experiences that games grant?
  • What can we learn from the history of games as simulation tools – be it in military, urban planning or business contexts – today?
  • Which new game technologies or gameplay methods could be used for which aspect of architectural planning and design?


  • You are using game engines to design or communicate your projects?
  • You developed a game as a tool to analyze, change, or modify real spaces?
  • The design of games is part of your practice as an urban planner, architect, or artist?
  • You are using games as tools for participation or participatory design?

Please send us your project (board games, role playing scenarios, computer games etc.), and / or tell us about your design experience.


Please e-mail your proposals to Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.

Essays and statements

Please submit your 500 word abstract for either a 3’000 – 5’000 word essay or for a 1’000 word statement. This abstract should be a Word document that also contains your name, affiliation, address, and contact information. In addition, please indicate the section you are submitting for.

Projects descriptions and designs

Please send us a one page description for each design project as a PDF. The description should contain image material. Please help us understand your project by including the following aspects in your presentation: Scope and goal of the design project, partners, realization status, design challenges, lessons learned, and, possibly, a URL where we can play your project, download a trailer movie (please specify requirements such as codec), or additional material.

If you explicitly consider your project a game, please let us know in your PDF in which way your design space reflects or constitutes

  1. formal game elements, e.g. rules, player interactions, objectives, rewards, and conflict; and
  2. dramaturgical elements, e.g. premise, story (arc), characters, and challenges.


Essays and statements (Word doc): 15.05.2006
Projects descriptions and designs (PDF): 15.05.2006


Friedrich von Borries (Agentur raumtaktik, Germany)
Steffen P. Walz (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
Ulrich Brinkmann (bauwelt Magazine, Germany)
Matthias Böttger (Agentur raumtaktik).

Birkhäuser – Publishers for Architecture, Basel / Boston / Berlin.

Spring 2007.


  • ETH Zurich, Chair for Computer Aided Architectural Design, Prof. Dr. Ludger Hovestadt
  • Swiss National Science Foundation, NCCR Mobile Information and Communication Systems (MICS)
  • University for Art, Media, and Design Zurich (HGKZ), Interaction Design / Game Design Program, Prof. Dr. Gerhard M. Buurman
  • ETH Zurich, Chair for Architecture and Urban Planning, Prof. Kees Christiaanse
  • KCAP, Rotterdam, and Astoc, Cologne

space time play

a book project by
friedrich von borries
steffen p. walz
ulrich brinkmann
matthias böttger

birkhäuser publishers basel / boston / berlin
spring 2007

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