PURPLECiTi is an upcoming online game/social media platform created by Cara Benjamin-Pace. Based on the co-operative business model, and giving consideration to new, more engaging and productive ways of using social media, PURPLECiTi is a platform based on explorations of mapping, storytelling, and community-building.
The Pavilion would serve as the starting point: a sort of “home” within the game. Inside the Pavilion, the user is prompted to tell their story - tell several stories - and embed these stories in the game space. These stories are shared with others, and added to, as photos, text, and maps are used to create hybrid/real/virtual reimaginings/reimagings of real places. The Pavilion exists in a kind of vaporous state between memory and reality, structuring, recording, and giving life to these past stories and experiences. My task was to design and document the Pavilion, taking the philosophical underpinnings and corresponding architectonic elements of a Japanese tea house and use these to design the four-room structure; five rooms, actually, including the implied but physically non-existent Fifth Room which serves as the portal into the gamespace. As a peaceful, meditative respite from the chaos of everyday life, the Japanese teahouse mediates our relationship between ourselves and nature through the simplest possible organizational scheme. Sliding shoji screens and a long extended floor plate and roof create a transient, ambiguous threshold between outside and inside. All of these architectural elements and principles are reconstituted in the Pavilion. Never truly there but always present, the Pavilion draws out our memories and gives them shape, guiding the user into the game.