Serious Fun

Architecture & Games

Collage from doll house with real people in it doing different activities

MaerchenHaft. German artist Sabine Bloch constructs complex relationship spaces in her montages, which are based on photographs. For the series “MärchenHaft” she stages the montages in doll's houses.
© MaerchenHaft, Sabine Bloch, photoartist, 2005–2006

What are the architecture narratives invested in doll's houses, along which guidelines do cities grow in computer games, and what kind of buildings shield ego-shooters from their assailants? The exhibition shows and examines architecture games and toys, inviting you to marvel, play and reflect.

Architecture games and toys are a part of our cultural and technical heritage. They come made of wood, metal or cardboard, others are played on computers or consoles. Hybrid variations turn the city itself into a gameboard, creating an interface to parallel worlds. These games and toys are a part of social history, too. As a deeply expressive form of popular culture, they convey how we perceive our built environment and different ways of imagining it.

The exhibition presents games and reflections on games. The exhibits, many of which are interactive, were created by architects, artists and game developers. Visitors can take an alternative city tour through a videogame environment, they can dabble on the virtual London property market, experience doll’s houses as lurid minidramas or develop eco-friendly city districts in collaboration with others. Games do not only integrate architectural practice, they also hold a mirror up to it.

Curator: Mélanie van der Hoorn
Project coordination: Katharina Ritter
Exhibition design: DWARS ontwerp (Mark Schulte & Miriam de Lange)

Catalogue of the Exhibition
The ‘Serious Fun. Architecture & Games’ exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue. Available at the Az W Shop, or may be ordered directly from
Editors: Mélanie van der Hoorn, in conjunction with the Architekturzentrum Wien
published by nai010 publishers
Language: English