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ExampleFantasyWorldChimni's West London Trial Adds A Minecraft Project To The Fun!

'Building Chiswick In Minecraft' -  As part of our Chiswick, West London trial of Chimni, we have been working closely with local Residents Groups and their web sites to help them engage with residents through new digital media.  We are also supporting them in projects that help them engage with young people. Our primary project in the trial area is 'Chiswick in Minecraft'.  This project focusses young minds on the design, planning & construction issues in their local areas by recreating a part of the local area in Minecraft, the online PC game that claims 100M global users.

Minecraft is normally used to create fantasy worlds which include sophisticated landscapes and buildings which players get to construct block by block - like on-screen Lego.  One of the most interesting features of the game is that the game has no specific 'aim'. The players do not have to 'kill' each other or compete to 'win' something. The main concept is to use natural resources to build a shelter, collaboratively interacting with other players.  Even so, around the world, Mums' advice forums are packed with parents complaining their children are addicted to Minecraft. But recently more serious, educational uses have started emerging.  The construction and planning industries in a particular, have started to see the appeal.

ae93e36534 craft your future logo smlIn the UK, the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has created a version of the game called ‘Craft your Future’ (see here for details).  This is a construction game aimed at 12-14 year olds in which students encounter a variety of problems that reflect construction challenges in cities today.  The CIOB said: “Minecraft, like Lego, has the capacity to inspire a new wave of construction professionals in an ever-increasing digital industry”.

The Ordnance Survey (OS), the Government owned, national mapping agency, have also LondonOSMinecraftImage followed suit by creating an online map of the UK in a Minecraft world. This was a project run by young interns at the OS and they have now opened it up to the public by letting anyone have a copy of what they created (See here). They are encouraging software developers to download a copy of their map shown in the picture on the right and experiment with it.  

Now Chimni is aiming to use the OS Minecraft map to widen the educational possibilities even further and to use Minecraft to interest young people in the layout and planning issues in streets and neighbourhoods around Chiswick - our initial 'communities' trial area.

As part of our wider Chimni ‘Smart Suburb’ project, the Chimni team have taken a copy of the OS Minecraft map and used it to build an online version of ‘Chiswick in Minecraft’.  We are opening it up to residents, via links on our local community websites, so that local Minecraft players can access their own street and build copies their own houses.

The project is now live with the Bedford Park Residents Association and the Stamford Brook Residents Group.  Each local community group has been asked to appoint a ‘gatekeeper’ from among the young local residents who know the game. They will be responsible for distributing the access codes and allocating the correct ‘plots of land’ in the online map to the right Resident households.  We are currently recruiting this person for Stamford Brook. They also need to be in charge of making sure their bit of the map is accurate and doesn’t need tidying or changing before letting the residents loose into it.  It is planned that this community activity can be featured on their Personal Statement for University.

MinecraftNormanShawHouseIn its basic form the Chiswick in Minecraft map doesn’t contain houses or other buildings just empty plots on the map where Residents can construct a copy of their own house. But where possible, Chimni have been working with local architects and Minecraft developers to ensure that many of the more common house designs are pre-built in the Minecraft software. Starting with Bedford Park Residents Association and the Stamford Brook Residents, these house designs are being made available to Residents who want to play.  The 6 most frequent houses in these areas are currently being assembled as free download file. Residents will be able to take a copy and drop it onto the plot of 'land' in Minecraft that represents where their house sits in real life.

BPRA Chair Terry Scott said “most of us had to have this explained, but when we showed it to some young players, they snatched it out of our hands”. Over time, Stamford Brook (along with the BPRA and other Residents Associattions) will be working with the local authority planning departments to understand how the Minecraft model can be used in future planning activity.  In the short term we will use the game to let local young people enter competitions such as the CIOBs Minecraft 'House of the Future' competition (see here)


Participating groups:

Bedford Park Residents Association:

Stamford Brook Residents Group:

St Peters Square Residents Association:(Project not yet live)

Strand On the Green Residents Association:  (Project not yet live)

More useful sites :

Ordnance Survey Minecraft:

The CIOB 'Craft Your Future' Project:

CIOB Minecraft 'Houses of the Future' videos

Minecraft and BIM+

In 2015 Chimni were part of  the founding group of companies of the BIM4Housing working party.  That year we held workshops and meetings with a wide variety of players in the new housing industry to evaluate the challenges we faced.  The overall finding was that the house building community is having numerous difficulties with the adoption of BIM.  Our new blog here outlines our findings.

“Its time for the housebuilders to work with the proptech industry around new data and services”

At CES in Las Vegas, London based property-tech start-up Chimni has called for the UK’s housebuilding community to work closer with the ‘property tech’ and Smart Home industries on data and analysis standards.

Download this file (Chimni Press Release - Call For Construction and Proptech Innovators To Work Together.pdf)Chimni Press Release[ ]382 kB

photofourChimni Founder Nigel Walley made the most of his trip to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, turning into an ace reporter to provide a property tech summary for the February edition of Showhouse Magazine.  As he explains in the article, a trip to the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas has become part of the yearly calendar for anyone working in new technology. But, while it is traditionally full of interesting home tech, it has yet to achieve that must-see status for homebuilders.  This year may change that, as CES 2017 was full of new ‘smart home’ and ‘internet of things’ technologies that appear poised to make the leap into the mainstream and therefore into our homes.

The Showhouse article set the scene for the magazine's wider look at property technology or 'proptech' as we are learning to call it. The full text of the article can be found on our blog here with copies to download attached to this articles

Download this file (ShowhouseFeb2017c.pdf)Showhouse Proptech Feature[ ]936 kB

Cardiff University School of Journalism has written up the 'House History' project launched by one of the residents groups trialling the Chimni Community Web Template  - Bedford Park Residents Association (BPRA) in West London.  The project is helping local community members to research their own ‘house histories’ and providing chimni logs to capture the information. The the CUSJ 'Centre for Community Journalism' became interested because the project uses a content collaboration between the Residents Association and local video-news site The Chiswick Calendar - which sets out to be a cultural magazine for the Chiswick area - to promote the project and related local history events. Interesting stories and people, like the one below with Francis Oliver, are being collated into a series of companion videos by The Chiswick Calendar.


  Example History Video from The Chiswick Calendar

The project is the first market roll-out for one of the 'fun' functions of the Chimni concept - the Home History logs.  These are templated feature areas in a Chimni log which can help a user capture and present their home histories - see illustrations below. The users are being instructed in the best practice for researching the social history of their houses and the resulting house histories will then be uploaded to the householders trial Chimni-log.  The public pages from these logs will be collated into a wider online resourcewith a dedicated site, open to the local community.








Images From The Chimni House History Logs

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