The Man Who Built Our Block City


As some of you may know, David Bugden is the man behind the painstaking digital recreation of Hull via Minecraft, making Hull one of the first cities in England to be Minecraftified (we checked, that's definitely a word, ahem).

This week the C4DI team and a few of our lucky members had the chance to meet Dave to get a first hand, full-screen demo of his creation in all of Minecraft's pixelated glory. 

If you've never heard of it, Minecraft is best described as a Lego-like, block-based, digital world and now stands one of the worlds best-selling games. In 2014 it was acquired by Microsoft for £2.4BN and was averaging 53,000 copies sold daily by 2016. 

I should probably start by saying that Dave is probably not the person you might initially imagine. At 34 years of age, Dave is a taxi-driver by day, a standup comedian (and Minecraft builder) by night and a dedicated family man. 

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As we sat in the (real) boardroom situated on C4DI's top floor, overlooking the deep, Dave showed us around his astonishingly detailed, virtual copy of Hull. In this virtual world, the sun rose and set and bizarrely cows walked around in the Humber! Many of us were shocked that the views from the (real) balcony looked almost identical to the view from inside C4DI within Dave's Minecraft model. 

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After the impressive demo, we caught up with Dave:

What inspired you to do this?

"I have always loved building - I started with lego Cities so when I discovered Minecraft it was an extension of that".

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How long did it take?

"I usually build a few hours in the evenings after my shift so the whole project probably took 4 months, total, of work. The first building I made - 'the Deep' took over 5 days though I got much quicker over time, making the Hull Minster in just under 2 days".

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What's your process?

"I have a good understanding of geometry. I compare building from different angles in google maps and then construct a mental image of the area and finally build it out virtually".

Dave's daughters now have their very own bit of virtual Hull.

Dave's daughters now have their very own bit of virtual Hull.

The city is still 'under construction'. We asked, what's next?

"I'm planning on doing the Crown Court next. I'd love more people to use it - I think it could be used in education to help get kids into building and making things. Maybe one Day it will be open source so people can help with the construction".

Dave is now considering turning his passion and talent for building into a business. If you would like to contact Dave to commision him to do something bespoke for you, you can get in touch via email: