The Boy Who Loved the Sims

Why I became an Architect

We often hear the question, why did you become an architect? A question that is occasionally brought up amongst family, friends and peers, and often the answer to that question can be a bit difficult to explain as most of the time we think about what inspired us to be architects in the first place.

In 1932, Lego was invented. Like many architects, this could probably be one of their pleasured pastime growing up as kid that potentially triggered their aspiration to become a future part of the architectural industry. However there has been a major shift in what kids play these days, and the popularity of Lego is slowly declining.

As a millennial I would say that growing up in the 90’s where PC gaming was an essential part of home leisure time, I became highly devoted to the game known as The Sims.

Created in the year 2000, The Sims is an absolute influence on the imaginations of recent generations that allows players to indulge in creating architectural space. It gives them a kickstart to essentially what architecture is all about, particularly residential architecture – building houses with a basic understanding of building material and allowing ‘Sim’ characters to essentially live through these spaces. Through the game I learnt the fundamentals in building foundations: walls, windows, staircases, floors, roofing and landscape etc. It also gave players the opportunity to explore various customisations of interior spaces by selecting a myriad of wall/ floor finishes, fixtures & appliances and of course furniture. There is also a price tag on all these items, which allows players to learn how to budget – almost like a starter kit for aspiring architects.

I could nearly say that I have learnt just as much architectural knowledge in my five years of devotion playing The Sims; and of course, learning more in detail to what it demands throughout the rest of university. I believe it was The Sims that essentially sparked a strong interest for me to love building houses, especially using 3D modelling as a communicative medium – a skill I have strongly developed in the architectural industry. 3D modelling enables me to express ideas and design intentions with our clients. I strongly believe it is an essential tool to allow them to have visual clarity and perhaps a feel as to what the space could become – almost like designing for The Sims.

Hamzah Mansoor

31/01/19