Virtual Architects Association
February 28, 2007, 8:50 pm
Filed under: architect, architecture, keoki marama, rl architecture

Lately it seems the content of this blog could remain fairly constant even if I were to only report the formation of new architecture-related groups in Second Life! The rapidly growing awareness of the potential for architects to use SL as a professional tool is very exciting, and I think we can expect to see some amazing development in the months ahead!

Last night, I received word from a colleague that there was a new group in Second Life called the ‘Virtual Architects Association’. Upon further investigation, I learned that it was founded by RL Architects group member Keoki Marama. In a presentation to a group of architects last night, he shared examples of how many architects who are aleady using Second Life as a professional tool, and shared the machinima we created for the Autodesk presentation.

I find the formation of this new group to be very inspiring, and yet another sign that the metaverse and architecture are indeed converging! In corresponding with Keoki this morning, he predicted we could see tens of thousands of RL Architects using SL in a few months. While I’m not sure the growth will be quite that fast, I do share Keoki’s optimism and commitment to building a resource base and a strong sense of community to help this convergence succeed as seamlessly as possible.

Welcome, Keoki! Let’s build this thing! =)

Update: Second Life Schoool of Architecture

The Tracer, founder of SLSA, recently shared coordinates with the new school’s location in Second Life. The build is still under construction, but appears to be quite an expressive place. The Tracer has clearly taken steps toward transcending the habit of replicating real life architecture, and the build experiments with virtuality in some interesting ways.

Update: Designer Dingson’s Installation of the Farnsworth House


This site has moved to


Designer Dingson has completed his installation of the Farnsworth House on Architecture Island in Second Life.

Designer Dingson: “I worked with Troi Timtam on the landscaping (who was wonderful), she chose to use the tall thin white barked trees so as to echo the strong verticals on the house.

The upper gardens feature a small apple orchard and the viewing platform from which you get a clear look out to sea and a great view of the house.

Planting was briefed to create a relaxed and peaceful environment, butterflies and sounds are incorporated. The viewing platform in the upper gardens was designed to echo the farnsworth, when seen from above it is very similar in form (the descent hole mirroring the chimney on the farnsworth, the steps echo the steps on the farnsworth) I designed the viewing platform to create an unfolding view as you move along it, the roses overhead emphasise a feeling of enclosure but as you move towards the viewing point the enclosure opens and you emerge to enjoy the view – I kept a little bit still hidden by the purple tree which helps to create a sense of intrigue.”

Nice work Designer! Thanks!

Check out the build HERE.

Update (2007-04-12): Designer has provided some updated images that can be viewed HERE.

3pointD and Studio Wikitecture

Mark Wallace of 3pointD asks in a recent post: “Is there anyone out there who’d be interested in attending another 3pointD Think Tank on this subject (wikitecture)? My goal would be to get the original participants in the ARCH discussion in touch with some coding geniuses and actually get a project for something like this off the ground. Let me know if you’re interested.”

Yes please!  Great idea.

I would also like to formally announce that, in order to continue the advancement of Wikitecture, Architects in SL group member Theory Shaw has started a ‘Studio Wikitecture’ group, dedicated exclusively toward the development of the tools, rules and methodology behind the idea of Wikitecture. He has done extensive research on this topic, and has already come up with some pretty exciting ideas for advancing the cause.

He has also established a blog: Studio Wikitecture and, of course, a wiki! Both are in their infancy, but based on the energy Theory has alread invested in this discussion, I think we can expect to see some major strides in coming weeks/months.

During our last RL Architects meeting, we discussed various ways of ranking and voting on the contributions by contributors to a wiki-build. In this way, we imagined that if any given area of a collaborative design were to receive too many negative votes, the ‘allow others to modify’ group would be switched on, or some other mechanism to flag it for further refinement. I haven’t tried it out yet, but THIS tool (or some variation of it) seems a perfect fit for this purpose. We definitely need to talk to the coding geniuses!

I look forward to the thinktank, and watching Wikitecture evolve!

Open for Contributions and Meeting Ideas
February 23, 2007, 7:58 pm
Filed under: architect, architectural resources, keystone bouchard

If anyone has an idea for an idea for a post that fits the concentration of this blog, or a meeting idea for the RL Architects group in Second Life, I would love to hear from you! I would like to start decentralizing this blog, and the group, and would love to include contributions and meetings organized by members and readers. Please IM me (Keystone Bouchard) with ideas! I look forward to hearing from you.

Architecture Groups

In addition to the ‘RL Architects in Second Life’ groups that I strongly encourage everyone to join, there are some new Second Life architecture groups to keep and eye on!

The ‘SLSA members’ which relates to the ‘Second Life School of Architecture’ (not to be confused with the SL Space Agency, or the SL Soccer Association, ) seems to be moving forward full speed with the guidance and directorship of group owner ‘The Tracer’, a grad student at Norwich University. SLSA is slated to open on April 27th and will be accompanied by a gallery exhibit that incorporates the possibilites of SL Design. I can’t wait!

Next up is the ‘European Virtual Architects’ group, started by Alfredo Desideri. I think this is a timely and appropriate group to start, given that the majority of professional architects finding their way to Second Life are European, and the RL Architects events are invariably held at times that are late at night in Europe. I will be deserving the taste of my own medicine the day they schedule a meeting at 3:00 am SL-time!

20 Years of Online Community
February 22, 2007, 8:00 pm
Filed under: community development series

[update…transcript posted]

Tom Portante will be giving a presentation about lessons he has learned through 20 years of experience with online communities today at 2:00 SL-time.

During the last Community Development presentation, we heard Lys Ware of Stanford University express his views on virtual communities. The topic and discussion was multi-faceted and quite diverse, but several architecture-related issues were adressed, such as whether the design of a virtual spaces can have any affect on the success or failure of building communities. We also discussed what specific kinds of architectural and programmatic elements help to bring people together for chance encounters and discussion. We compared the characteristics of real life architectural spaces known to foster community with characteristics of virtual environments. So, while this meeting might not be architecture-specific in organization or intent, many architecture-related conversations often spin off of these presentations, so I encourage everyone to attend if time permits.

It’s at 2:00 SL-time (pacific), Thursday (today) on Clear ink island. If you want to receive earlier notices of events like this, please join the RL Architects in Second Life group in-world. For more info, visit THIS site.

Architecture Island (AKA no more!)
February 21, 2007, 5:53 am
Filed under: architecture island

Don’t ask me what I was thinking when I named my island ‘The Homestead’, but the name has now been formally changed to Architecture Island… whew!

The Bartlett House

If I had to isolate the most commonly held concern real life architects have with building their projects in Second Life, it’s that the building tools are too limiting. They claim that realistic architecture is difficult, or even impossible to achieve using the in-world building tools.

While I normally reserve the content of this blog for topics related specifically to real life architecture, I see the Bartlett House as one of the finest examples of virtual architectural representation I’ve seen so far. This build goes a long way toward describing the level of detail and expressiveness this medium affords, and clearly raises the bar for architectural representation in a virtual world.

Charlotte Bartlett chose a brilliant mashup of rock star contemporary virtual architect Scope Cleaver with the champion of contemporary furniture, Maximilian Milosz. Visit the build on the Elysian sim, which is now open to the public.

Villa Venete: Progress Report
February 21, 2007, 5:11 am
Filed under: alfredo desideri, architect, architecture, palladio, rl architecture, villa venete

Palladio’s Villa Venete, by Alfredo Desideri is now under construction on Architecture Island. Alfredo started his Second Life explorations through a Palladianesque installation (still rezzed on the island), and a tiny replica. The model shown here is still under construction, and is still not full size. However, given the magnitude of Alfredo’s drive to honor Palladio through his work, I’m confident we will eventually see a more fully immersive full size replica.