Imperatives and Opportunities of Designing Online Networks for Design
The rise of platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Uber, initially celebrated as part of a disruptive new era of the internet, has slowly been reassessed as a problematic and unregulated form of twenty-first-century info-capitalism that contributes to inequality, mistrust, and user polarization. The internet has become a place for content creation, not only consumption, and the content freely created by the network of users has defined a self-organizing system of ad-hoc audiences following echo chambers organized through artificial intelligence, which amplifies previously identified trends. While a large portion of the content created by users seems to be aimed at personal forms of entertainment, a few remarkable projects, such as Wikipedia, have allowed hundreds of users to contribute to a collective goal. While we can observe that the platform model has appeared in diverse disciplines,, allowing the creation of content from news articles to music, we have not seen the emergence of a robust design platform intended to proliferate and advance the discipline of architecture.
This paper makes the case that video game technology and its audiences have reached a state of technical capability that could allow for architectural platforms to emerge, one in which players could learn, create, and share architectural designs. Such a platform comes with a series of ethical imperatives, questions of value proposition, and liabilities, as well as a high potential to communicate and proliferate architectural knowledge and know-how. Common’hood, currently under development, will be used as a case study to engage the development of an ethical architectural platform that develops a proposition towards authorship, ownership, and collective engagement.