Some professions and fields of study require a specific terminology that is difficult to understand as an outsider. Meeting a group of architects to discuss a design or building is an unique experience. However, very few individuals without the correct knowledge of architectural styles and elements could understand the entire description.

To create a better context for the situation at hand. My girlfriend studies architecture at an academic level and is in her final year of her bachelor’s programme. In order to understand her better, as a graduate journalist, it required a lot of research. However, it is often difficult to understand the architectural styles and visual elements.

Examples and architectural plans

While reading about the most common architectural styles and elements you are often given examples of how it is used in practice. Most of the time, the drawn plans are too complex for an amateur and can only be read by people with the required background, so that became a serious problem.

Knowing you will not be able to impress an architect with your knowledge about architectural styles, it seems best to learn to understand basic design concepts. Reading an architectural plan is the key element. This required some practice, but after learning more about the meaning of these lines you will be able to read and understand most of the elements. To be honest, some remain a secret.

Design tools and games

After a brief introduction to the software and tools an architect uses to design their plans, there was a flashback to a game series me and my girlfriend used to play together as children. Drawing the structure of a house looks similar to the tools you use in The Sims games. It is a similar editor, but for more advanced users.

After this insight, the search began for architects who explain architectural principles while they play The Sims. They exist, even with different kinds of specialties. After a brief analysis of the location, they are able to create the first plan and decide where to locate the different rooms. To my surprise, the layout of the rooms per square meter often seems to be a detail.

Real-life architectural projects

The relationship between video games and architecture is clear. Large communities of gamers use The Sims to design and create the house of their dreams, whether it is a tiny house or a large and modern penthouse. The developers even encourage the community to share their creations online with the hashtag #showusyourbuilds.

After a few conversations with architects, it became clear that a lot of the younger architecs used the creation tools in The Sims as their first digital canvas to design or replicate real-life architectural projects. To most of us, it is a game. For some, it is how they discovered their interests in architecture.

Digital tools and architecture

Unhindered by real-world construction timelines, users are able to experiment with the available tools and elements to create larger or smaller projects. The digital tools of The Sims offer endless posibilities and seen the software used in real-life by architects, they ar not as different as one would expect.

Of course, the software created for professional architects programs is more advanced and complicated. These tools allow you to adjust the smallest details of the existing elements, yet the basis is similar. The ease of use from the tools created by game deverlopers also find their way into the professional world, which is a trend you see in many different industries.

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Disclaimer. This post contains copyrighted images from The Sims 4, a video game developed by The Sims Studio and published by Electronic Arts. The fair use of copyrighted works for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting or research is not considered as an infringement of copyright.

6 thoughts on “How The Sims helped me understand an architect | Opinion

  1. I don’t have the skills to design great looking buildings and houses, so my constructions often look awful. On another note, I think people underestimate the potentials that gaming can bring to real life experiences. Architecture is one example, but what about interior design or other soft skills? Or communication between team members in online multiplayer? Anywhos, great post!

  2. Intriguing blog post. I never really thought of how the Sims connects to architecture so well until now, particularly with software and planning. Thanks for sharing this!

  3. Very interesting read. My brother is also in the architectural field and credits some of his designs to the sims. Basically, he said Auto Cad and Sketchup can only do so much, so he builds the designs in sims.

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