The City Game: The Rotterdam Edition

The Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi) is a museum, archive, library, and platform that wants to get people of all ages involved in architecture. One way of doing that is through educational programmes. One of those programmes is called ‘The City Game: The Rotterdam Edition’, a game aimed at pupils and students in primary, secondary and higher education. The purpose of the game is to build a city together and discover that the process is about more than construction alone. As every student has its own wishes and interest, the discussion sets off.

To introduce the game, a guide takes the students to the Treasury, where the most beautiful scale models from the NAi collection are displayed. The students can see how famous architects design cities and buildings.

At the top floor of the museum, the students play the city game. Working in small groups, each group selects a part of the floor map and uses scale models to plan a quarter.

Since the old wooden scale models were totally worn out, the NAi decided to use 3D printing to create a completely new city game. The scale models have been printed in polyamide using laser sintering, because they needed to be strong and flexible. We have printed 32 scale models for the NAi that are currently being used in the city game, and an additional 32 will be added shortly. So far, the result looks amazing and i.materialise is proud to be present in one of the Netherlands’ most exciting museums.

The main objective of the NAI’s educational programmes is to get children and young people to open their eyes to the world around them. Their own street, the shopping centre, the city – they have all been consciously designed, but not everyone is equally aware of this. What do children and young people themselves think about their surroundings?

We believe this is a great example of how 3D printing can be used for educational purposes. Where else do you think 3D printing can be used in education? We’d love to hear from you.

More images of the City Game can be found on Flickr.