Architecture Events on Google Calendar
July 30, 2007, 11:57 pm
Filed under: architectural resources

We’ve now added a shared Google Calendar for all things architecture and design in Second Life.  Please let me know of upcoming events the group would be interested in, and I’ll add it here!

Weekly Architecture Discussions – Thursdays at 6PM SL-time
July 30, 2007, 11:36 pm
Filed under: architectural resources, architecture, architecture island

Every Thursday at 6:00 PM SL-Time (PDT) The Architecture group will be hosting weekly meetings, starting this week in the Wikitecture gathering space on Architecture Island.

If you are interested in moderating a parallel meeting to accomodate additional time zones, or have ideas for meeting topics, please IM Keystone Bouchard.

This week, we will discuss the future and potential for a new language of virtual architecture, and how architects and designers can help shape that future.

Googie Architecture + Good Bad Movies = C3 Sky Cinema Fly-In
July 29, 2007, 4:34 am
Filed under: cube inada, googie architecture, larry rosenthal, virtual architecture

This is an exception to the norm for The Arch, but I can’t resist – I think it’s a truly native use of SL, and well worth a visit. If Googie Architecture, sci-fi, horror and/or good-bad old school cinema is your thing, Sky Cinema fly-in theater will be your favorite build of all time.

I recently met Larry Rosenthal (avatar Cube Inada), founder of Cube 3 over a slice of pizza in real life through an introduction by Chip Poutine, and found his enthusiasm and profound knowledge of the past, present and future of virtual worlds to be intense and quite fascinating. I would expect nothing less than the incredibly thorough and fun-loving manifestation that is C3 Sky Cinema Fly-In from Cube, and I wish him great success.

Visit the Barsoom sim (SLurl), check out the Adventurer’s Society of SL (co sponsor of the cinema) Group, as well as Starbase C3. They’ll be having scifi triva contests every Thursday night at 5pm SL-time at the C3 Skybar Lounge in Sawrey. Also, don’t miss the Second Life Insider’s story about C3 Sky Cinema Fly-In.

Check out a slideshow of Sky HERE.

GeekMeet Post Mortem: ‘Reflexive Architecture’ on InfoWeek
July 27, 2007, 7:13 pm
Filed under: dr dobbs, reflexive architecture, virtual architecture, voice client

Great post by Mitch Wagner (link) on InformationWeek about the GeekMeet presentation I gave at Dr. Dobbs on ‘Reflexive Architecture’.  The entire event was conducted using Second Life’s new Voice Client in the Firstlook Viewer (download here).  It was a remarkable experience, much like a real life presentation.

Everyone kept their mics off until the question and answer started, at which point an occasional question would come from the audience.  The whole experience left me feeling like I had actually been in a room with people, describing and discussing these concepts.

I’ve been using voice a lot now, and have really grown to love it.  After a few hours of touring around with friends discussing and exploring Second Life, it really leaves a strong and lasting impression of having actually been with people, far more than if we had been chatting in text.  Of course, I think there are compelling reasons to use both, but voice does a lot for the experience, and I look forward to watching it become more fully integrated.

Architecture CAD Model Importing Now Possible!
July 26, 2007, 5:31 am
Filed under: architect, architectural resources, architecture, virtual architecture

….will be a headline on this blog someday. We’re not there (yet), but now that I have your attention, I have a favor to ask.

For the time being, let’s not focus on what we can’t do in Second Life, and take a look at what we can do there that we can’t as easily or as affordably do anywhere else. It isn’t that each of these points can’t already be done elsewhere, but now they can all be done in the same place, at the same time, for free…

  • We can meet with other architects, designers and collaborators from all around the world
  • When we meet, we can talk to each other – either in 3D proximity-based voice, or in chat.
  • We gain value and insight during meetings by being able to observe fashion signals, body language, and spatial clustering (thanks Trevor!)
  • We can psychologically ‘prime’ the 3D context of our meetings with appropriate visual and informative cues, increasing effectiveness and productivity (discuss modernism sitting inside the Farnsworth House).
  • We can watch live streaming content from architecture and design conferences worldwide.
  • We can attend (free) presentations by world renowned architects, discussing important issues and opportunities facing architects today.
  • We can use the building tools to quickly mock up (in real time) 3D studies to help more effectively describe our ideas.
  • We can allow others to modify what we’ve created, so they can add or contribute their ideas – see Wikitecture.
  • We can quickly and affordably build mockups of design ideas, and invite the public to tour the concept – testing their reaction, hearing their input, and improving – at a cost far less than the same experiment would cost in real life.
  • We can teach architecture.  See Tab Scott’s work.
  • We can share design concepts with our peers, gaining a diverse range of feedback from surprising and qualified sources worldwide.
  • We can do all of this for FREE!

There are many more advantages, too many to cover here, but you get the main idea. In the end, it all comes down to community and collaboration.

Rez Menoptra and I exchanged some comments on a post he wrote on PrimDig last week, and I’m starting to understand what I think is at the core of Rez’s point about architects being more open with their work in Second Life. The really big deal in SL is the community. Without the community, SL would be nothing. So, the more architects we can get to adopt, the more great conversations we can have, the more collaborative building we can do, the faster the platform will evolve. To Rez’s point, this is one of the worst things an architect can do is hide their work on a private sim. I respect the need for privacy in real-life projects, and argue in support of that right, but I think those architects do truly hurt themselves by hiding in isolation if they’re not participating in the community. They’re missing out on the real reason Second Life is a special place for architects. If all you’re going to do is build projects to show clients your project in isolation, there are better applications for that purpose. You’re wasting your time in Second Life.

I think every architect in Second Life needs an elevator pitch. If you catch a newbie architect flying around, how quickly can you get them past ‘can I import my models?’ Invariably, the visitors you can truly engage, and prove to them that SL is more than just a place to import your models, they come back – again and again.

Sure, there are limitations in Second Life. But there is absolutely no question about it – the benefits far outweigh the challenges.

Swarm Architecture in Second Life, via Interactive Architectures
July 24, 2007, 11:17 pm
Filed under: far link, virtual architecture

Virtual Interactive Architectures: Emergent Forms – self organizing structures

“…I started thinking about how we could take advantage of the unique environmental characteristics of SL to create a self-organizing emergent structure. This structure might consist of numerous units that emerge from the landscape or objects within the landscape. These objects may be released when the avatar approaches an object or a specific place within the environment.

As these objects/agents/bots emerge, they approach and orbit the avatar(s). That is to say each object is scripted to approach and rotate around an avatar in an orbit of a certian diameter. Over time and within a certain distance of an avatar, these objects begin to grow an outer layer much like a seed begins to grow fruit.”

Just, WOW.

UgoTrade’s Coverage of Virtual Architecture

UgoTrade  has been doing some interesting research and reporting on virtual architecture, including a new post today (link) including coverage of the reflexive architecture installation, the Cntrl-Shift-07 competition, Theory Shaw, the Wikitecture progress, as well as the important work Eolus McMillan and the EOLUS One Initiative they have been working on.

Reflexive Architecture Demo @ Dr. Dobbs Island

Tomorrow, July 24th at 8AM SL-Time (PDT) I’ll be giving a demo of the ‘Reflexive Architecture’ interactive installation I’ve been working on as an extension of the Architectural Jazz piece.

In real life, we typically experience architecture and music in a passive role. The composition remains unchanged while we listen or observe. However, in a virtual environment, we have a unique opportunity to make the architecture responsive, or reflexive. The buildings can ‘know’ that we’re there, and react to our presence perhaps even remembering that we’ve been there, leaving visual or audio traces of our existence long after we’ve left. I’ve rezzed an interactive demo installation near the amphitheater that will help describe this concept.

Location SLurl and event posting can be found HERE. Slideshow of the installation HERE.

Modern Day Cities Being Recreated in SL
July 24, 2007, 2:04 am
Filed under: architecture, kzero, urban planning, virtual architecture

Great post over at Kzero about the rapidly growing number of real life city recreation and augmentation projects currently underway in Second Life. Read it HERE.  All is well on the virtual frontier for architects and planners!

More Land on Architecture Island Finally Available!


The Architecture Island annex is almost complete, and rental land will be available within the next few days!  Over half of it is already spoken for, but we still have a large 1/4 island lots available, as well as a handful of smaller 8,000 sqm parcels, and some 4,000 sqm parcels.

If you aren’t ready for a parcel of land to build on, but still want to be in on the action, check out the new arcspace build.  For a modest monthly fee you get a 2 story flat, adjacent to the most exciting new architectural venues around.  I’ve got my apartment picked out and customized, and have really enjoyed hanging out there during the past few days.  Check out my last post for details on how to join.

If you’re also ready for a parcel of land to start building on, and your and work involves architecture as a central theme please IM Keystone Bouchard for more info about renting on Architecture Island.