Architecture in SL – by turboy Runo
June 28, 2007, 4:04 pm
Filed under: architect, architecture, turboy Runo, virtual architecture

As an architect, I find the possibility of thinking about architecture in the metaverses very fascinating. What is impressive is the infinite freedom of design there is in SecondLife and this is why I’m quite disappointed with the ways currently used to represent architecture.

If architecture can be defined as a discipline, whose aim is to design space in which human beings live, then the same definition can also be applied into SL, substituting “human being” with “avatar”.

Vitruvio, a 46-30 BC writer of treatises, ascribed architecture three factors:

  • firmitas (structural);
  • utilitas (functional)
  • venustas (aesthetical).

Lets think of these factors in relation to virtual architecture. In SL Architecture, one of these factors is superfluous, and not only that but venustas masks one of these factors with a structural issue firmitas.

In a world without gravity (or low gravity) and without dangers of instability, I don’t regard everything relating to the structural paradigm very interesting.

Probably, if Vitruvio, or other writers of treatises, had known about SecondLife, he would have shown us that it’s not essential to use solids to make beams and pillars appear. In fact, beams and pillars in SecondLife are only part of an aesthetic issue, of decoration.

Architecture in SecondLife should go beyond these formal limitations and in so doing, un-tap its own virtual energy.

Some projects could deal with moving architecture: buildings that float in space and move like clock hands, more like a machine than a block of concrete or brick, with buildings that fly like planes and with walls of light.

The architecture of SecondLife must free itself from the burden of Real Life because the factors characterizing SecondLife are very different. Architecture that can be taken back to Real Life, I would define as “Spontaneous Architecture”, derived from our “terrestrial anthropocentrism”.

While the few examples of projects that exist in SL would crash if you transported them into Real Life due to firmitas, which is superfluous in the metaverse, they are nevertheless the start of a thought process, which has already understood the de-materialization of the terrestrial universe and which projects itself into the near future of a de-materialized life with new rules.

Contributed to The Arch by avatar turboy Runo.  Translated from by DG Johin

Do you have a post you’d like to submit? Send me an IM! (Keystone Bouchard).

1st Annual Wikitecture Meetup
June 28, 2007, 5:13 am
Filed under: wikitecture

This past weekend marked the very first annual Wikitecture meetup, held in Oakland, California at Jack London Square. So many ideas, lots of brainstorming, too much IPA…

Architecture Congress Streaming into Second Life
June 28, 2007, 4:56 am
Filed under: architecture, rl architecture

The Bienniel Pacific Students of Architecture Congress has done an outstanding job including Second Life as an integral part of their program, and will be streaming live content from the convention directly into Second Life starting July 1, 2007 on Lebenswelt Island.

Check out the speaker list HERE, and the program HERE.

Times are listed in New Zealand time, and most of the content will be streamed on Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday.

Great Stuff!

Let the Convergence Begin!
June 20, 2007, 4:55 am
Filed under: architect, architecture, second life

These are exciting times for Architecture and Second Life!

Sun Microsystems brought Cameron Sinclair to Second Life last month. Autodesk brought rockstars Sergio Palleroni and Chris Luebkeman for some unforgettable events. This week, a phenomenal line-up of Second Life events was projected at the Design Museum in London for the Royal Institute of British Architects ‘Architecture Week’ (thanks again to Fraser Fonda!).

This month’s ‘Architect‘ magazine mentions Second Life (wtg aloft!), last month’s ‘Metropolis‘ featured Second Life (wtg Tab Scott! – who was already recognzied for his work in Second Life in ‘Architectural Record‘ and earlier this year). The press mentions could go on and on.

If you’re still on the fence, it’s time….

Happy Birthday to me!
June 20, 2007, 4:46 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

On June 30th, my avatar will turn 1 year old!  What a year it has been!  Within a few months of my first log-in, Second Life moved me from Wisconsin to Berkeley, drove me to leave a career in real-life architecture behind in pursuit of a virtual alternative, and remains the focus of the lion’s share of my daily activity on a professional level at Clear Ink.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Honestly, not a day goes by that I don’t recognize the fact that I have one of the coolest jobs on the planet, and I really do owe it all to Second Life.

When I started, there were a little over 400,000 registered users.  Today there are over 7 million.  So much has changed!  If time permits, I hope to publish some memoires of my first year in Second Life later this week.  Stay tuned!

Drivers of Change Post-Event Summary

Chris Luebkeman’s presentation on Autodesk Island was quite a unique experience! During event preparations, Chris described an idea for creating a more engaging presentation than the formal theater-style build where the audience experiences the event in a passive role. Instead, we opted for a more dynamic installation where attendees were encouraged to move around the build as Chris described each of the 5 Drivers of Change categories.

Chris also wondered if the architecture of the installation itself could reflect a metaphor of the dichotomy between natural or organic systems, juxtaposed against a more rigid, or linear element. As a result, a series of linear or orthogonal kiosk elements are nestled within a hull made of leaf-textures that open when an avatar approaches, and closes when the avatar leaves. This kind of ‘reflexive’ or organic architecture is a concept I’ve been looking forward to exploring, and this installation provided the perfect opportunity to test it out. While this application is fairly subtle, I think the idea of reflexive architecture has tremendous potential for virtual architecture… more on that soon! =)

The event started with Chris (avatar Leubke Mannonen) and Autodesk moderator RevitQueen Oh sitting on top of a virtual replica of the Drivers of Change box that typically serves as a give-away during real-life presentations. In this case, the box contained a HUD, created by Kiwini Oe of Clear Ink, that enables visitors to read more about each category.

As Chris described each category, he moved from kiosk to kiosk, sometimes sitting down or standing on top of the kiosk as he spoke. This kind of dynamic movement throughout the presentation made it far more engaging and interactive than the typical hierarchy of audience and presenter. I think Chris did a fantastic job, and it was a real pleasure to have been able to work with him on this event, and hopefully many more in the future!

Second Life @ the Design Museum for RIBA Architecture Week June 2007

Wow, so many exciting architecture-related events happening! Full speed ahead! =)

Next week, the Design Museum in London is projecting and hosting a series of Second Life events in both real and virtual reality during RIBA’s Architecture Week. Contact Fraser Fonda with questions, and check out the website at:

Here is the event descriptions:

Second Life @ the Design Museum for RIBA Architecture Week June 2007
3-5pm BST 7am – 9amPDT

Location The Office

7am PDT
Doesi Beck will talk about The 1st Annual Architecture and Design Competition in Second Life. The competition is part of this years Ars Electronica Festival in Linz (Sept. 5th – 11th). He will also discuss “Bastard Spaces” a text for the Ars Electonicas catalogue exploring the relationship between physical and media spaces.

Sunday 17th Location
7am PDT
Tour of significant Second Life Architecture by Alfredo Desideri who is re-building Palladio’s villas in Paradise Isles in Second Life Architectural Style

Monday 18th Location Architecture Island
7am PDT
Meeting of a Gulbenkian and AHRC funded research group on Architecture Island exploring ideas of multidimensional space through Jorge Luis Borges short story ‘The Library of Babel’.
Please bring some sentences from any book you would like to add to the library.

Tuesday 19th
Location Architecture Island
8am PDT
Visualising Design Concepts in a Virtual Environment
Moderated by Keystone Bouchard, Clear InkMembers of the Architects in SL group will demonstrate the methodology required to effectively replicate real life design concepts in Second Life. We will review the advantages and challenges of this process, and will provide tools; tips and tricks to help architects who are new to Second Life understand this process, in order to be able to recreate their own designs.

Wednesday 20th SL grid often down so no event planned

Thursday 21st
Location Architecture Island
8am PDT
Wikitecture Demonstration: Collaborative Design and Building
Moderated by Keystone Bouchard, Clear Ink and Theory ShawThe Architects in Second Life group will be joined by the Studio Wikitecture Group for a demonstration of the current state of collaborative design processes being developed. How might the practice of architecture benefit from collaborative design? The demonstration will be accompanied by an open and informal discussion.

Friday 22nd
Location: The Office
7am PDT
Lecturer at the School of Architecture; Royal Institute of ‘Kapitol Metropolitan will explore blurring real life and Second Life by livestreaming video into Second life from different WIFI connections in SWEDEN.

Saturday 23rd
Location Architecture Island
7am PDT
Designer Dingson – Will give a tour of his Mies van der Rohe Farnsworth House on built on Architecture Island. He will be joined by Chip Poutine who proposes that it is possible for visionary architects to establish a viable professional practice through the means of digital architecture.

Sunday 24th
Location Nitida
7am PDT
The Tracer, will give a tour of the Second Life School of Architecture, he will talk about some of the theory behind it, about Second Life and the architecture it has generated.

Event Reminder: Chris Luebkeman

June 14, 10AM PST Chris Luebkeman : Future Challenges: Global Creative Contexts

This is one not to miss! Chris definitely ‘gets’ Second Life. While working with him to prepare this event, his enthusiasm and vision for the potential of virtual worlds was immediately evident. His presentation is sure to engage and inspire!

Event description: Population shifts, increasing scarcity, and the wanton consumption of arable land and natural (renewable and nonrenewable) resources amount to what could prove to be a significant global dilemma – a dilemma of disastrous proportion. Yet trends in design and an ever-increasing focus on conservation and environmental issues suggest that we are headed for a collective change. This program considers the impact of global drivers of change on sustainable creative contexts, explores potential implications, and provides attendees with examples of design work that is already responding to the challenges.

Attend this event on Autodesk Island HERE (SLurl).