A certain SimCity enthusiast who goes by the moniker Skimbal has created a set of 3D-printed buildings based on the virtual urbanisms of “favorite computer game of all time” SimCity 2000. Modeled on Google Sketch-Up and printed at ten times the scale to allow for greater detail, the colorful set of architectural touchstones fit together in multiple combinations to form a gridded tabletop metropolis that can be assembled and disassembled with ease.
3D printing, with its still experimental aesthetic of colorful monolithic forms, seems particularly fitting for the project. In the computer game, numerous socioeconomic functions, institutions, circulations and systems are emphatically reduced into concrete forms, namely buildings that appear on a screen. With the click of a mouse, a player is to crack the code of ideal human coexistence by building and rearranging symbolic objects.
Existing outside the computer screen, the 3D printed SimCity models heighten the perception of the city as a collection of objects. The colorful tabletop pieces become hard plastic facilitators of the invisible flows and exchanges of city life, and they are joined together at whim in a miniature modernist fantasy.