Ludic-Architectures is a Virtual Summer School project funded by the British Council’s UK-China Outward Mobility Internationalisation Partnership Fund, developed in response to international COVID-19 restrictions.



The project builds on the foundation of a rich history of virtual collaboration, digital architectures and immersive experiences ( It extends these into the development of a transnational collaborative and playful environment for students exploring Games Art and Design and Digital Media Design at Undergraduate and Masters level in the UK and China.

[Image from Senti-Mental: a ludic brain model derived from a melding of an MRI scan and real-time twitter feeds scrapped form the collective mind of the Off-The Lip event. Tweets run through a sentiment analysis filter which impacts on colour and activity within the low-polygon-volumetric-model extracted from an MRI scan of head and brain. ]

The project builds a collaborative online Virtual Reality environment using game engine tools to extend their skill sets, both technically and creatively, and foster a virtual mobility, shared vision for new digital innovations through a rubric of sharing, inclusive participation, and co-production.

Ludic-Architectures is a speculative design space that allows the collaborative building of a shared digital environment that can function in VR platforms, web browsers and Fulldome environments. This will be a playful space for making and exhibiting new digital work.

Physical 3D artefacts (digitally rapid prototyped and fabricated) made by participating students during the summer school workshop activities in their distributed geographical locations will contribute to and debates around about their creative evolving practice in the post Covid international landscape.

The project has a spine of online and studio based workshops, at each location, which drive the development of the Ludic-Architectures space

Students are drawn from different disciplines across the Chinese UK partnership and School of Art Design and Architecture at Plymouth University including Architecture, 3D Design, Digital Media Design, Graphic Communication, Game Design, Media.



  • Ludic-Architecture platform is developed using a networked multiuser game engine (Unreal)
  • The initial workshop will brief students and create flexible groups around mixed skill sets which will ultimately collaborate to design and create the Ludic-Architectures
  • The Ludic-Architectures space tests the game engine technologies that are already studied by each partner but will extend the reach of the local game engine into a multi-user online environment and allow for free exploration of the creative potential of the virtual environment.
  • Three Parallel Summer School workshops (Architecture, Game Design, 3D Design) will take place over the summer, with in each partners studio space and in the evolving Ludic-Architectures
  • Series of visiting speakers from UK and Chinese industries represented in the interdisciplinary mix of the Ludic-Architectures (Architecture, Design, Media) will contribute to the evolution through presentations of the inclusion of digital artefacts.
  • Finally, the environment and the digital artefacts within it will be the shared exhibition of their creative endeavours.



Timeline: December 2021-July 2022


Design and implementation of the prototype.


Workshop extended requirements 2 days


Workshop system testing 2 days


3 parallel Workshops (3 weeks)


Visiting Speakers Programme


Online and Virtual Exhibition (one week)



IVT: The IVT is a transdisciplinary instrument for the manifestation of (im)material and imaginary worlds. The ‘Fulldome’ architecture now houses a duel high-resolution fish eye remote light engine projection system, sophisticated 10.1 audio system and customised computers to wrap data, models, video and images around its inner surface. The IVT is used for a range of learning, entertainment and research activities, including transdisciplinary teaching, bleeding edge research in modelling and data visualisation.
Murmuration: E/M/D/L presents: Liminal Spaces, Dream Collider, and Murmuration, the culmination of a EU funded collaboration between Canadian and European partners. This research project was carried out through eight international residencies and is presented in the Satosphere of Montreal’s Society for Arts and Technology (SAT). Articulated through the fulldome environment as an instrument to explore transdisciplinary forms of artistic expression, these experiments oscillate between performance, interactive installation and immersive event.
Arch-OS: Arch-OS represents an evolution in intelligent architecture, interactive art and ubiquitous computing. An ‘Operating System’ for contemporary architecture (Arch-OS, ‘software for buildings’) has been developed to manifest the life of a building and provide artists, engineers and scientists with a unique environment for developing transdisciplinary work and new public art. The Arch-OS experience combines a rich mix of the physical and virtual by incorporating the technology of ‘smart’ buildings into new dynamic virtual architectures.
Quorumscape: QUORUMSCAPE integrates the Quorum algorithmic tools into a real-time geo-located CityScape simulation. Quorum is an algorithmic system that feeds off data generated by material and virtual environments and the physical and social behaviour of audiences. It incorporates bio-inspired algorithmic swarm decentralised decision making processes to generate a dynamic and evolving collective behaviour. It is a volatile system of stimuli and response that is manifest as data driven interactive objects, installations and immersive audio-visual experiences.
Digital Futures: The programme aims to reflect upon and actively engage with contemporary arts and technology practices. It is constantly upgraded to respond to changing cultural and technological developments, and is delivered through a combination online and offline activities (using streaming media, an interactive web site and online community tools and more traditional methods).
MEDIASPACE: The intent of ‘MEDIASPACE’, whether in its ‘dead’ paper-based form, or the ‘live’ digital forms of satellite and internet, is to explore the implications of new media forms and emergent fields of digital practice in art and design. MEDIASPACE was an experimental publishing project that explores the integration of print, WWW and interactive satellite transmissions. The convergence of these technologies generates a distributed digital ‘space’.
Sliding Scales: i-DAT & The Bartlett School of Architecture are collaborating on an SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) and Rapid-prototyping workshop to generate an exhibition to be installed in January 2007 at University College London. This continuing collaboration with Unit 20 of the Bartlett School of Architecture builds on last years Arch-OS workshop held in the IVT.
Immersive Media Lab:The Immersive Media Lab is a new digital initiative which sits alongside the Digital Fabrication Lab on the ground floor of the Roland Levinsky Building. These spaces are showcase statements for the School of Art Design and Architecture which celebrate a dynamic engagement with (post)digital innovation as a catalyst for creative production, playful experimentation, pedagogic invention and industrial engagement.



Jiangnan University:

Miss Sara Chen, Dr Zhou Lin 

Nanjing University of the Arts:

Prof Yan Baoping, Dr Yu Rui 

Soochow University:

Prof Zhou Guoyan, Zi Hong 



Funded by: British Council UK-China Outward Mobility Internationalisation Partnership Fund: