While normally used by online gamers to create a generated world for exploration and combat, the world-building computer game Minecraft has been noted for its architectural capabilities. BlockWorks, a design studio in the UK, uses the game as a design tool to create materials for marketing, media, and education; a competition in Australia a few years back invited students to design a national park using the block-building program; and Bjarke Ingels has proselytized at length that the architecture field should become more like the game as well.

Providing an online platform to build the world we want to inhabit, Minecraft’s great distinction is its offer of complete freedom from real world constraints—there’s no clients, no engineers, and no financial restrictions. Testing those limits, architect and designer Andrew McClure of Nomad Design set out to build something using Minecraft. Educated on the program by his young cousin, McClure picked a site in the desert, laid out a foundation, and built his contemporary dream home, cantilevers and all.