▶ Chicago Artist Does an Architecture and Video Game Mashup

We don’t play a lot of video games here at the Chicago Architecture Blog, and when we do it’s generally on a funky-smelling Atari 2600 hooked up to a 65-inch display just to prove we can still kick ass at Asteroids. But a new game soon to come from Chicago artist William Chyr might make us actually plonk for a PlayBox 9 or whatever the kids are mashing buttons on these days.

It’s called Manifold Garden, and throws out the rules of physics in a way that is both familiar and exciting. If you’re a fan of art, it’s like an interactive MC Escher print. If you’re into movies, it’s like being Leonardo DiCapiro¬†inside Inception. And if you went to Brooklyn College in 1968 or 1969… well, yeah, it’s a helluva lot like that.

For architecture fans, the game is extra fun because there are bits of familiar things that pop up every now and then. They’re not exactly Easter Eggs, but little references to people like Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Kahn, and Tadao Ando.

Artist Chyr (Pronounced “cheer” as in “Yay!”) is best known for working in the medium of… balloons. But not like a clown. Think giant DNA-looking things. He also produced a limited edition label for Beck’s Beer. A profile done by the beer company shows him riding the L around Chicago. It’s Shakespearian-level foreshadowing of the video game to follow.

I do a lot of my thinking on public transportation. You’re on the second or third story of all these buildings, and you’re weaving… it’s almost like a roller coaster. You’re in the middle of these beautiful buildings.”

The game doesn’t come out until next year, but when it does, it’s targeting PS4, Windows, Macintosh, and Linux, apparently via the Steam platform.

Screenshot from Manifold Garden

Screenshot from Manifold Garden

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

Share This Post On