V&A Dundee

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Making V&A Dundee: Out of Minecraft

This series celebrates creative responses to V&A Dundee. With the museum currently closed due to Coronavirus, visiting us in person isn't possible. Luckily, artist Csian Jemecel Canave digitally recreated the building! It blows our minds and brings us joy. Csian tells us more.

For me, V&A Dundee is an inspiring place: it features a great collection of design and I thoroughly enjoy exploring the structural icon.

Architectural works are often perceived as cultural symbols and works of art. Fittingly, Kengo Kuma has designed an incredible and complex structure which has become an iconic symbol of the city of Dundee. The building was made to attract visitors but also to bring people together.

In these difficult days, Coronavirus has forced most of us to stay home and keep apart. I was at a loose end and unable to visit the museum itself, so I was inspired to create my own version on the popular videogame platform Minecraft.

V&A Dundee's building recreated in Minecraft with a bright blue sky around it.
V&A Dundee's building recreated in Minecraft with a bright blue sky around it.
V&A Dundee's building recreated in Minecraft with a bright blue sky around it.
V&A Dundee's building recreated in Minecraft with a bright blue sky around it.
V&A Dundee's building recreated in Minecraft with a bright blue sky around it.
V&A Dundee's building recreated in Minecraft with a bright blue sky around it.
  • V&A Dundee in Minecraft recreated by Csian Jemecel Canave.

  • V&A Dundee in Minecraft recreated by Csian Jemecel Canave.

  • V&A Dundee in Minecraft recreated by Csian Jemecel Canave.

  • V&A Dundee in Minecraft recreated by Csian Jemecel Canave.

  • V&A Dundee in Minecraft recreated by Csian Jemecel Canave.

  • V&A Dundee in Minecraft recreated by Csian Jemecel Canave.

Minecraft uses blocks in 3D-generated worlds to emulate life and allows players to flex their creativity by building and developing their own structures.

I played Minecraft a lot growing up. But having not played since my early teens, the current lockdown motivated me to revisit the game. And what better way to do that than building a one-to-one scale version of V&A Dundee within the game?

Take a look inside Csian's Minecraft museum in the Courier's video below.

Unsurprisingly, the design of the museum made it challenging to replicate. The curved walls, in particular, were difficult due to the limits imposed by the cubic blocks in Minecraft. The blocks are placed down one by one like virtual LEGO. To combat this, I observed photos of the building closely and measured angles at different points. This allowed me to construct the walls of the building as effectively and accurately as possible.

The view of V&A Dundee's main hall from the upper floor created in Minecraft.
The view of V&A Dundee's main hall from the bottom of the staircase and looking out the main door, created in Minecraft.
V&A Dundee's Scottish Design Galleries created in Minecraft with cases and displays.
Large open space of the main galleries of the museum in Minecraft.
The view of V&A Dundee's main hall and restaurant, created in Minecraft.
  • The interior of the museum recreated in Minecraft by Csian Jemecel Canave.

  • The interior of the museum recreated in Minecraft by Csian Jemecel Canave.

  • Our Scottish Design Galleries recreated in Minecraft by Csian Jemecel Canave.

  • The (empty) large temporary gallery in the museum recreated in Minecraft by Csian Jemecel Canave.

  • The interior of the museum recreated in Minecraft by Csian Jemecel Canave.

After three days of work, the museum is almost finished. Maybe the next time you're sad that you can't visit one of your favourite places, think about building a virtual version.

Csian Jemecel Canave is a fine art student at the University of Dundee who specialises in painting and photography. His work explores portraiture whilst observing the urban culture and the way we live our lives.