Can Virtual Collaboration Win the Open Architecture Challenge? Wikitecture 3.0 is ON it!

There’s still plenty of time to join the team! You don’t need any architectural experience, just a willingness to collaborate, learn and help people in the world who need it most.

You can find a transcript of our first Wikitecture 3.0 project discussion HERE.

During Tuesday’s 9am meeting (the time of which was determined by group vote), the community decided to enter a brief R&D phase, and will be spending the next week gathering information about each of the 3 challenges to determine which we will pursue. We are also trying to find potential collaborators in SL or in RL with expertise, or may have lived or currently live near any of these real-life regions to join the team. Perhaps there are nearby universities in these regions we could collaborate with? Are there any unique features of these challenges that lend themselves more or less to a Wikitecture or Second Life build? Scale? Materials? Site?
We’re seeking answers to these questions, and will paste our findings in the new Wikitecture Wiki HERE. If you have any ideas or thoughts on this project, feel free to post them on the wiki!

KK Jewell of arcspace has offered to allow the experiment to be built on the new arcspace island! This is a very generous offer, and we are very grateful! Thanks KK!

Stay tuned for info, date and time for our next gathering, and IM Keystone Bouchard or Theory Shaw in Second Life if you have any questions, or wish to join the team!

Wikitecture 3.0 Experiment: 1st Kick-Off Meeting


After tallying the results, the consensus for the best time to meet is: Tuesday, September 25th @ 9:00am PST/SLT. Here is the slurl link to the ‘Studio Wikitecture’ parcel in Second Life.

Although kick-off is not until Oct. 15th, we wanted to hold an early meeting to get a gauge who would like to participate as well as share some improved features projected for the new website and inworld voting/commenting system. In addition, we would like to hear your thoughts on which of the three ‘Open Architecture Network’ challenges we should pursue.

We are excited that the project the 3rd Wikitecture experiment will center around will be the competition recently announced by the ‘Open Architecture Network’. The ‘AMD Open Architecture Challenge’ is an open, international design competition. Its aim is to develop solutions for building sustainable, multi-purpose, low-cost technology facilities for those who need them most.

They have three challenges to choose from—a project based in South American, Africa, or Asia. We would like for the next meeting to get your opinion on which of the three we should pursue as a collaborative entry. The following are links to the specific competition briefs.

the South America Challenge
the Africa Challenge
the Asia Challenge
general information about the OAN Challenge

Since the OAN is an “open-source community dedicated to improving living conditions through innovative and sustainable design”, we thought it would be a perfect opportunity to submit an entry for the competition that is, in turn, designed and composed in the same collaborative and open-source fashion OAN is known for.

See you there.

What is ‘Studio Wikitecture’ Group in Second Life………………………………………………….

Studio Wikitecture is a ‘Second Life’ group composed of a diverse spectrum of individuals interested in exploring the potential of applying an Open Source paradigm to the design and production of both real and virtual architecture and urban planning.

What we’ve been doing………………………………………………………………

We have over the last 10 months been conducting Wikitecture experiments within Second Life to tease out the exact procedures and protocols one would need within a Metaverse to harness and aggregate a group’s collective intelligence in creating an architecturally noteworthy design.

Please go to this Flickr site to see the evolving snap shots from our last experiment…

Here’s a link to the program and protocol for this experiment as well…

In addition, here are some excerpts from a Manifesto written by Dennis Kaspori that outlines some of the salient points around an open-source approach to architecture.

Second Life Architecture on CBS News
September 19, 2007, 10:12 pm
Filed under: montana state university, tab scott, terry beaubois

If Terry Beaubois (Tab Scott in SL) keeps this up, I’m going to have to dedicate a regular column just for covering his work!

Check out ‘Learning Architecture in a Virtual World.’

Well done!

Welcome to Wikitecture 3.0! By the Community, for the Community

Read the full release here.

Would you like to participate in the AMD Open Architecture Challenge on a global team of qualified and talented architects, designers and engineers? Studio Wikitecture invites you to just that.

In keeping with the spirit of the Open Architecture Network’s goal of ‘improving the living standards through collaborative design,’ we will be employing the next generation Wikitecture process in order to more fully enable true 3D collaboration by community members from around the world. In much the same way Wikipedia enables multiple contributors to collaborate on content creation, the Wikitecture process gives community members an opportunity to share ideas, edit the contributions of others, and to vote on the success or failure of proposed modifications.

Through a series of ongoing experiments during the past several months, the Wikitecture process has been evolving based on community participation and feedback. With this input, Theory Shaw has developed the ‘Wikitecture Tree’ concept, and we’ve hired the clever folks at i3Dnow to build it for us, which will include both inworld and web-based functionality. We hope to roll out this new platform just in time to get started on a collaborative Wikitecture competition entry for the AMD Open Architecture challenge.

The Wikitecture process currently uses the free to use, free to access virtual reality platform of Second Life to enable multiple contributors to share ideas and collaborate on design concepts.

If you are interested in participating, you’ll need to do the following:

1.) Download and install the Second Life client at

2.) Complete the orientation course to help familiarize yourself with navigation, etc.

3.) Click on the ‘Search’ button on the bottom of your screen. With the ‘All’ tab highlighted, search for either ‘Keystone Bouchard’ or ”Theory Shaw’ – the organizers of the Wikitecture project. Click on their name, and you’ll see an ‘Instant Message’ button in their profile. Send either of us a message, and we will get back to you shortly with more details on how you can join the community.

4.) By clicking on the ‘Map’ button and searching for Architecture Island, you will be able to teleport directly into the site location, and migth even run into other members of the in-world community who can help with any questions you may have.

Our official launch meeting will be September 25th – the event time will be determined by community consensus. Please send your vote to Keystone Bouchard in-world, or to

We hope to see you there!

To join our project page on OAN, visit HERE.

To learn more about the evolution of the Wikitecture concept, visit Studio Wikitecture

To learn more about the architecture and design community in Second Life, visit The Arch blog

To see a video of Cameron Sinclair’s event in Second Life, featuring the Open Architecture Network’s Porchdog design, visit This YouTube site

To see the construction of the Porchdog in Second Life, visit: This YouTube site

AutoCAD Import Demonstration: Transcript Posted

Let there be no doubt, the architecture and design community is pining for a fluid and automatic import process!!! I knew a meeting like this would bring lots of new faces. Even the slightest tremor of an import tool shakes out bunches of would-be SL resident architects and designers who are sitting on the fence around Second Life, waiting for the ability to import their CAD models into a virtual environment.

It is refreshing to see the kind of innovation coming from AI Design Studio. There is hope! Thanks very much to Impalah Shenzhou and Asha Eerie for demonstrating their new Henshin Autocad import tool. It is truly fascinating!

You’ll find the transcript HERE.

The Living Sim: Helfe Ihnen, Yona Friedman and Spatial City
September 12, 2007, 5:33 am
Filed under: design island, helfe ihnen, spatial city, yona friedman

There are several ways I can tell that Helfe Ihnen’s DEsign Island has become my favorite sim in all of Second Life.

First, I’ve been collecting batches (literally hundreds) of screenshots over the course of several weeks now, with the ongoing intention of doing a major post about the sim. But every time I gear up to write it, I discover a new aspect of it that needs coverage. To do this right will take time, lots of time, lots of screenshots, lots of Q&A with Helfe. This should be a magazine article, or a chapter in a book, not a blog post.

I’ve even plotted massive machinima pieces. I was going to start the shot on Pong Blumenthal’s sound installation – picking up on those excellent beats, then gradually pan over to the ‘Cloud’ build (inspired by Architectur from Coop Himmelb(l)au, Cloud, 1968). I couldn’t miss the Sub-Club, among the coolest SL lounges I’ve seen to-date. Then I’d pan up to that incredible museum installation in the sky (I still need to ask Helfe what that’s all about – its very intriguing!). Every corner of this sim requires your attention.

But perhaps the most immediately inspiring pieces in my experience, is the Yona Friedman exhibition and Spatial City experiment. From the DEsign Island website:

“Yona Friedman, architect and visionary, agreed to show “Spatial City” on DEsign Island
Now we realize a very special experiment: “Spatial City” the great conceptual, experimental architecture of Yona Friedman.
A city on multi levels, on which the inhabitants build there homes.

Two of the best skills of Second Life help us with this: 3D building and social community buildingA living modell of Yona Friedmans “Spatial City” on DEsign Island will be made by the interested avatars themselves.
A three level structure planned by Yona Friedman and builded by “Helfe Ihnen” with the help of “Marianne Sewell” is the beginning.
A gallery shows Yona Friedmans ideas since 1957 to give the avatars the theoretical background of Yonas Ideas to build mobile cities by the inhabitants on structures.”

Helfe was brilliant in executing and honoring Yona’s ideas and work in this build. By offering avatars a place to ‘live’, within the auspices of Yona’s visionary ‘Spatial City,’ he is building on the 3D building aspects of Second Life, creating a meaningful experience, and reinforcing the community building phenomenon SL affords all at the same time. This build has certainly become a catalyst for a thriving community of architects, artists and designers who have customized spaces within the City, and has quickly become a thriving and vibrant place to be. I was recently commissioned to build a residence for Archis Writer, an architectural historian who now lives in Spatial City. I can barely rez a prim without meeting some fascinating and curious neighbor who invites me on a journey to see what they’ve just built – which leads to another introduction, and another… ahhh, such is a Second Life! Never a dull moment.

This place is alive. The only way to fully appreciate it is to visit, explore and perhaps even live in Spatial City. You’ll find it HERE.

Pasting Scripts into WordPress Doesn’t Work
September 12, 2007, 1:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

If anyone had trouble copying the Reflexive Architecture scripts out of the wordpress post, please accept my apologies, and try these instead:

Apparently WordPress has a different quotation system, or makes things bold – or some such trouble.   Sorry for the inconvenience!

AutoCAD Import Tool Demonstration: Architecture Meeting Thursday, Sept. 13th, 11AM

This week’s Architecture Group meeting will be a demonstration of the new AutoCAD import tool (Henshin III), created by AI Studio. They will rez a full building, designed and modeled in AutoCAD, completely textured. They will also demonstrate the Layer functions and show how the system can change the visibility and position of imported objects.

Thursday, Sept. 13th, 11:00 AM

Discussion will be held on the new arcspace sim, attached directly north of Architecture Island: SLURL

Importing Maya into Second Life: More Fun with Sculpted Prims
September 10, 2007, 8:24 pm
Filed under: architectural resources, maya, sculpted prims

Interesting Metaversed post (link), brought to my attention by Tara5 Oh of Ugotrade.

“The software itself works as a plugin, augmenting Maya to enable the in-world rezzing function as well as all of the extras like texture application and joining multiple sculpted prims.”

AutoCAD to Second Life: New Version Video
September 8, 2007, 3:39 pm
Filed under: architectural resources, autocad, import tools

My friend Nicco Kuhn brought this to my attention.  A new demo video of the next generation Henshin III AutoCAD import to Second Life tool.  Please post comments with your experiences using this tool if you’ve had a chance to experiment with it.   Certainly looks very promising!