Infrastructure for recombination: The work and ethos of Plethora Project
This paper presents a critique to the traditional business model followed by many architecture studios who utilize the ‘architectural competition’ as a format for developing new ideas and innovation. The abundant competition calls, implying free labour, that architectural competitions facilitate has become a mechanism to coerce architectural innovation towards the benefit of a ruling elite. The Plethora Project studio has attempted since 2011 to hybridize the practice of architecture with forms of entertainment in order
to allow cultural engagement and ultimately communicate the challenges that architecture faces not only from a perspective of technological progress but from one of social progress as well. To do so, the medium of video games has been selected to communicate complex systems of interdependence, inviting a new audience of non- architects to participate in the construction of knowledge and discourse by understanding complex webs of interdependence that link material resources, knowledge, labour and
access. The studio sits at the intersection
between an architectural firm and a gaming studio with social interest. This implies the necessity for innovation in economic strategies that enable the autonomy of ideas and the development of non-conventional projects.
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