Matthew Nolan

Assistant Professor for George Mason University

Holding a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Synthesis from Berklee College of Music and a Master’s Degree in Music Composition from George Mason university, Matt Nolan has a holistic vision for music, art, movement, and light.

At George Mason University, Matt is a co-founder of the successful Computer game Design Program under the direction of the dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the assistant dean for Technology, Research and Advancement. He is also a member of the College Diversity Commitee, a founding member of the Computer Game Design Program’s Advisory Board, and an Instructional Faculty member.

He has Lectured at Tuft’s University, George Mason University, The Smithsonian Institute’s Hirschorn Museum in Washington DC, and teaches for George Mason University.

His research interests are: Serious games, Alternate controllers, Real-time MIDI, Digital Audio, Sound Design, Game Audio, Music Composition, Permaculture, Emerging Technology, and Interactivity..

His programming and interactivity work has been shown and performed at SICMF Seoul Korea 2007, Florida Electro-Acoustic Music Festival at the University of Florida 2007, Berklee College of Music, George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, The Hylton Center for Performing Arts, New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) 2007 at the Columbia University Computer Music Center as part of NYC Electronic Arts Festival, EABD 2015, 2016 TedX Tyson’s Corner, and his artwork has been shown at the Charles Krause Reporting Fine Art Gallery, and the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC. He is the founder of the Virginia Arts Residency at Manahoac Farm, which hosts artists’ work space and public offerings.

Talk Description:

Arcology and Games

This lecture consists of three parts: Defining Arcology, outlining Paolo Soleri’s design principles based on Arcology, and revealing how games can be used to model, simulate, and to refine the design of future villages.

Paolo Soleri was a man with a grand vision, with aspirations of holistic communities which nurture harmony between the ecosystem, architecture, and the humans who inhabit them. These visions materialized themselves through a vast collection of writings, drawings, and ultimately the construction of the communities of Cosanti and Arcosanti. However, the initial trajectory of the communities has shifted, and the construction of new spaces has slowed to a stand still. Are these communities and their visions of balance destined to remain tourist attractions? How does that relate to and interact with Soleri’s Designs? What elements of Arcology, if any, are emerging in the mainstream of urban planning? What elements are being ignored? How can we leverage the research of Soleri to make better game worlds? And in turn, how might we leverage that information to improve our own?

Games are an ideal way to envision and explore imagined arcologies. Using MMO worlds, one can test different configurations and people to reduce the problem that physicality poses, namely the material constraints. By populating these virtual worlds with interested individuals, one can test the dynamics of a small community and its members before time and money are spent to actually build it. In a way, this can be viewed as an audition for the community , its rules, as well as the arcology baked into the designs.

As we continue to push further and faster into space, it is important to research and develop the model of a sustainable arcology, beginning with simulations and vetting, leading to terrestrial settlements that test different methods and means, with the end goal of sustaining life and catering to our humanity through depths of space.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This