Millenium Park Minecraft

MINECRAFT CHALLENGE: Redesign A Public Space

Make a great public space in Minecraft. This challenge is to design a space that promotes social interaction and a sense of community.

Overview

The American Planning Association defines a public space as “a gathering spot or part of a neighborhood…that helps promote social interaction and a sense of community” and meets the following characteristics: 

  1. Promotes human contact and social activities.
  2. Is safe, welcoming, and accommodating for all users.
  3. Has design and architectural features that are visually interesting.
  4. Promotes community involvement.
  5. Reflects the local culture or history.
  6. Relates well to bordering uses.
  7. Is well maintained.
  8. Has a unique or special character. 

Brief

In this challenge, you will use the above list as guidelines to make a great public space in Minecraft. The challenge is to design a space that promotes social interaction and a sense of community. You will use the design process to: 

 - Collect Information about the space currently as it is.

 - Brainstorm Ideas about what could make it a great public space.

 - Develop your ideas into actionable real-world solutions and

 - Showcase your Final Work using a publicly accessible web tool.

Constraints

You are designing for the real world, so it’s important that you work with real-world constraints. In addition to the list above, your public space should follow its real-world dimensions. 

What are the physical dimensions of the site you are designing for? How long and how wide is the space you are building on? How many Minecraft blocks would it take to build the same structure? 

Who uses the space? People are a big part of the picture in design. So who do you think will use this space? Your overview statement should answer the question “Who is this park for?” 

Use this public space assessment resource to think around what makes a great public space. More resources are available in each step of the design process so be sure to check those out! 

Before you go on designing, use this space to define the problem with the current space. Is the space underused? Is it hazardous? Is it inaccessible? Tell us what problem(s) you plan on solving with your design.

 


 

Collect Info

Generally speaking, a great public space meets the following criteria:

  1. Promotes human contact and social activities.
  2. Is safe, welcoming, and accommodating for all users.
  3. Has design and architectural features that are visually interesting.
  4. Promotes community involvement.
  5. Reflects the local culture or history.
  6. Relates well to bordering uses.
  7. Is well maintained.
  8. Has a unique or special character. 

Try This

Start by making an inventory of public spaces around you. Use the guidelines by Project For Public Spaces to identify if the spaces around you make for great public spaces. Look and see if these spaces meet or exceed in the following four qualities: 

-       Access and Linkages

-       Comfort and Image

-       Uses and Activities

-       Sociability 

Do any of the spaces in your inventory already meet and exceed all four of these Key Qualities? What are they?

Brainstorm Ideas

By now you should have some information about what makes a great public space and whether or not the space that you are working with is one. The information that you collect hopefully has you thinking about what additions, improvements, or brand new design should go into your public space. 

A Minecraft Map

Try This

Sketch out your ideas for your public space. In the resources sidebar is a site plan for a plot of land. Try sketching out what you see and doodle in what you think should go there. Are your decisions based off of the information you collected or people you talked with? They should be! 

 

Don’t have a site plan? Use an online mapping tool, like Google Maps, to print out your public space and draw in what you think should be there. 

Brainstorming is all about sketching out ideas and seeing what sticks.

Develop Solutions

Developing Solutions is all about taking the ideas you started with and making them real. Remember when we said your design needed to have real-world constraints? This is where those real-world constraints should start to show up in Minecraft.

This means that you might need to do some math to make sure you are designing with real-world measurements. Here’s a link to how measurement works in Minecraft: http://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Tutorials/Measuring_distance

Try This

Minecraft Park

In Develop Solutions, choose an idea that you can build in Minecraft and use real-world constraints to make that happen. You might find that an original idea might not work its way into Develop Solutions and that’s OK! Try to refine or rethink your original idea into something that works.  Use the Design Process to

-       Define what doesn’t work about your idea,

-       Collect info on why your original idea might not work,

-       Brainstorm ideas on how to rethink your approach and

-       Develop your idea.

Remember to upload screenshots of your Minecraft designs-in-progress into this section.  F2 key or Fn+F2 for Macs and some other keyboards. Screenshots are automatically saved in the "screenshots" folder within the .minecraft directory.

Final Design

So you’ve gone through the Design process to collect information about a space. You’ve decided how to make that space a great public space by brainstorming ideas and developing your solutions in Minecraft. You’ve even uploaded screenshots and videos of your Minecraft designs. But how do you know when you are finished? 

Remember the original constraints of the design challenge.

-       Is your design something that could go into a real-world space?

-       Does it meet all of the requirements from Project For Public Spaces (Access, Activities, Comfort, Sociability)

-       Is it to scale?

-       What collected information went into making the final design happen?

-       How did your initial idea change and develop into a solution?

-       Does the new design solve the original problem from your overview? 

These are all questions you should answer and upload along with screenshots of your final design.