Gravity is the biggest downer in architecture and urban planning, so why not just do away with it?
This, admittedly, is not advice that professionals should heed. But what if you just want to have a little bit of fun designing a structure that has no practical use? For moments like that, there’s Oskar Stålberg’s Brick Blocks.
Stålberg’s browser game will never be mistaken for AutoCad, and that’s all for the best. It opens with a small square of land, hovering in blue screen-space. Upon it sits the beginning of a building: doors at street level, brick walls with windows, terraces on the rooftops. From this basic configuration, you can extrude these shapes, creating new walls and rooflines. You can also remove tiles, carving out archways. What starts out as semi-plausible architecture quickly turns into a fantastical shape.
Brick Blocks’ beauty stems from the way in which these basic building units merge. Although this is a game built around extruding square tiles, they merge into elegant, curving archways and swooping gardens. These are more than mere bricks; they come together to form spaces and surfaces.
There is no real point to Brick Blocks. There are no levels to beat or platonic ideals to achieve. None of that really matters. Brick Blocks has a hypnotic quality. You build winding combinations of positive and negative space and that’s more than enough. Brick Blocks is like Monument Valley if the objective was to build levels as opposed to navigating them. It’s light–gravity-free, in face—but why worry about gravity in a context like this?