I find urban planning and architecture difficult subjects for the layman to engage with, with their complex maths, etc. However if it were a question of how Godzilla could best destroy a model of Tokyo, then key questions of architecture and urban design become problems I’m keen to solve. In exploring the environment and processing the knowledge of Tokyo city structures and design as ‘Godzilla’ I am absorbed by questions of the design and value of buildings, how to negotiate the city-scape in a way that yields best results, etc.
As I imagine a model of Tokyo and picture Godzilla smashing through this building, or stomping on this car and picking up that train carriage to discard over a group of fleeing people below I’m thinking my way through issues of architecture and design (what buildings have a symbolic value that will deliver the highest impact to Godzilla’s destruction), but as well as learning about other areas of knowledge I am also enjoying the process of ‘playing Godzilla’. Of drawing upon my knowledge of watching tons of Godzilla films, reflecting on their conventions and textual aspects to then put in motion here.
If it were only about learning the history and value of Tokyo architecture I would probably be less engaged with this model. But if it’s foremost about ‘playing Godzilla’ and through an ’Affinity Space’ (Gee) needing to process knowledge through exploring the environment and practices of ‘Godzilla play’ then I think we have a very deep and engaged learning space which can generate a type of creativity and engagement textbooks struggle to achieve. Or at least an engaging way to think about cities, architecture and buildings. A quick search through youtube yielded a number of hits showing how architecture students ‘play Godzilla’ on their own models. The first one from Melbourne even asks “why study architecture?”