Do you know that Dieter Rams was a major influence on this year’s biggest video game?
The German product designer informed Cyberpunk 2077’s futuristic cityscape, reports Architectural Digest
No city was built in a day – and that’s true for digitally rendered environments we see in video games. Cyberpunk 2077 might be this Christmas’s blockbuster, but the game has been in development since 2012.
Much of the past eight has been spent creating Night City, the dystopian, Californian metropolis within which this game is set. The game's renderings show the city to be a well-balanced creation, lying somewhere between a fantasy urban environment, and a streetscape some of us could almost imagine walking within.
The game's developers split Night City's look up into four distinct architectural eras: an early austere minimal look, called Entropism, a poppy, colorful phase called Kitsch, a battle-hardened style called Neo-Militarism, and an over-the-top look called Neo-Kitsch.
Each style drew from different sources of inspiration. As Architectural Digest reports, the wackier end of things grew on the work of the late cinematic designer, Syd Mead, best-known for his work on Blade Runner and Aliens. However, the more pared-back streets took from a less likely source.
"Entropism evokes German industrial designer Dieter Rams, juxtaposing the elegance his work was known for with the lower-class neighborhoods it characterizes,” writes Architectural Digest’s contributor, Joshua Rivera.
Of course, the game’s designers didn’t have to meet the same exacting standards as Rams himself insisted on. “I would almost certainly say that if an urban planner in the world of 2077 was tasked with creating a megalopolis, they wouldn’t create a city like Night City,” admits Lucjan Więcek, the environment art director at tn.
Nevertheless, Rams’ evocative, 20th-century look and feel did help the game’s playability. “I also wanted our designs to imbue every space with possibilities, and to engage players so that they will want to immerse themselves fully into this world,” Więcek tells Architectural Digest. “A player’s experience with the visual side of the game should allure them to take on the challenges this city has to offer.”
Did Więcek and his colleagues succeed? Judge for yourself by ordering a copy of Dieter Rams: The Complete Works, our new book, which details every product the influential German designer ever made. Find out more here.