The ARCH


Competition Details: ‘Design for an Eco-Friendly Community’

I’m sincerely honored to have been invited to jury this most exciting competition! I know firsthand how exhilarating it can be to work on a project like this in Second Life, especially given the collaborative nature they’re inviting. This is an absolutely perfect use of Second Life – combining everything we all love about it. It’s social, collaborative, cultural, technical, its 3D design and, perhaps most importantly, its green. This is a perfect storm for innovation and is sure to be an exciting project to watch. I hope everyone takes some time to submit an entry!

“arcspace.com and ecolandnow.com, in collaboration with INBAR – International Network for Bamboo and Rattan, invite architects, designers and students to take part in an international competition at arcspace Island in the virtual community, Second Life.”

The International Jury
From Real Life:
Shyam Paudel, Director of Housing Program, INBAR
Cui PenFei, Professor Architecture, CAFA – Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing
Wang Ru Song Professor,Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Edwin Chan, Partner, Gehry Partners, Los Angeles, USA
Jan Utzon, Architect, Denmark
Kent Martinussen, Director, DAC – Danish Architecture Centre
Kristen Richards, Founder/Editor-in-Chief, ArcNewsNow.com
Thomas Kearns, Assistant Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology
Nille Juul-Sorensen, Associate Director, ARUP

From the Virtual World (Second Life):
Persis Trilling, Director Princeton University Second Life Project
Scope Cleaver, Architect and Designer
Keystone Bouchard, founder of Crescendo Design and Studio Wikitecture”

More details on arcspace: http://www.arcspace.com/sl/26-02-2008/eco.html

The competition is sponsored by KK of arcspace.com (KK Jewell in SL) and David Greenberg of ecolandnow.com (da5vd Latte in SL) in collaboration with INBAR – International Network for Bamboo and Rattan. Photo above and landscaping by Poid Mahovlich.

The photo above is by Poid Mahovlich, an Artist Builder and Land Terraformer in Second Life. She has turned arcspace Island into a bamboo forest for the competition.
Her group Our Green Virtual World Builders specifically promote green issues.



Architects Enslave Programmers to Build an AutoCAD Import Tool for Second Life, Henshin IV Released

Hats off to the folks at AI Design Studio. Not only because they have been working so hard to develop an AutoCAD import tool for Second Life, but also because they make such entertaining machinima promotional pieces. Their choice of background songs is always memorable and distinctive to say the least! They have spent the last several months completely rewriting their Henshin tool improving its performance and making it easy to use.

Check out their website for more info: http://ai-designstudio.net



Design for an Eco-friendly Community
February 23, 2008, 7:12 pm
Filed under: arcspace, kk jewell

Design a structure in Second Life – build the structure in China and Hawaii in Real Life!

arcspace.com and ecolandnow.com, in collaboration with INBAR – International Network for Bamboo and Rattan, invite architects, designers and students to take part in an international competition at arcspace Island.

The winners, selected by an international jury in Second Life and Real Life, as well as by public vote, will be invited to assist with the construction in China or Hawaii.

Detailed Competition information is now posted at arcspace Island .
More details Monday February 25th. at: www.arcspace.com

Sign up with your avatar name at: arcspacesl@gmail.com
Or send IM to KK Jewell
Once you sign up you will be asked to join the group to receive relevant competition information. Please pass the word to your group and friends…



Architecture Firm CKI Teams up with the Government of Thailand to Build Massive Virtual Planet

The massive $250 million project, called ‘CyberCity’ won’t be open until 2010.

Somehow, upon hearing this news (link to full story), I feel a sense of vindication for all my ranting and raving about why architects should be taking virtual worlds seriously, and why an architectural background really is an ideal skill-set for virtual worlds development.

What does it mean when an architecture firm teams up with a government to build a virtual planet? What are the implications of such a massive build? Is this the first of many projects like it? To be honest, I had always expected the first massive build like this to be more mirror world in nature. However, it appears as though CyberCity will be almost entirely fantasy driven, or purely virtual. Given the new realities of the Experience Economy we live in, it should come as no surprise that CKI comes from a background of resort design and development. A seemingly perfect match for branching into the design of a virtual planet.

I don’t know what their ultimate plans are, but I assume this will be a purely developer-driven project, with no room for user generated content like we see in Second Life. It would be a shame if the future of the metaverse is primarily shaped this way, whereby top level developers create a baked environment, and the people who use it have no choice or ability to participate in the creation or modification of the built environment. Based on the preliminary success we’re seeing with Wikitecture, it seems feasible that everyone could be given a voice in the realization and creation of our city-scape – throughout its entire life cycle. This exclusively top-down developer controlled model is, sadly, all too much like real life. I think the metaverse invites a more participatory process, where the people who actually USE these places can voice their opinion and share their specific expertise. Utopian? Perhaps? Entropian? Probably not. It would take some doing, but I think it’s a win-win proposition. In the end, I think there needs to be a little of each. I think a balance can be achieved between developer driven content, and a user-generated content. We’ll have to see how Linden Lab’s Department of Public Works turns out. I think there is more at stake here than might be apparent at first glance.

Many thanks to Virtual Worlds News for bringing this incredibe story to my attention – this will be one to watch!



Drumroll please… realXtend + OpenSim = Importing of Proper 3D Models

I’m not a techie guy, but I know what ‘import proper 3D models’ means, and I know what a tremendous impact it will have on our industry and beyond.

We’ve heard about emulator plug-ins that enable SL-like models (built within the same limitations) to be imported.. We’ve seen sculpties… But it still isn’t the fluid and automatic tool architects and designers pining for. I can say that this announcement, found on UgoTrade, is probably the most exciting news I’ve heard so far. I realize they still have a lot of work to do before this is an easy and effective solution, but based on everything I’ve seen so far, it is really starting to look like OpenSim and realXtend might be the answer we’ve been searching for.

via UgoTrade



From Common Interests to Common Borders
February 20, 2008, 12:10 am
Filed under: architecture island, arcspace, eolus one

Architecture Islands, arcspace and Eolus One are announcing that they will be moving to a new location on the Second Life grid, and will now be sharing common borders as a contiguous group of islands. The move is part of a concerted effort to unite some of the brightest minds as well as the most ambitious projects in Second Life.

While each group will retain its own identity and function, the new archipelago will now collectively represent a wider range of the complete life cycle of the real estate industry, including education, development, architecture, construction, facilities management and investment management.

arcspace Island is founded by KK Jewel (Kirsten Kiser in real life), publisher of arcspace.com, an architecture and design magazine that features today’s most creative projects, as well as the most influential of the past.  KK made the move to Second Life in early 2007 to build the arcspace Community as a platform for interacting with  readers from across the globe, for collaboration, for building, and for exploring new tools and techniques.   arcspace provides customizable cubes to readers and members of the arcspace group and,  in addition to supporting and building a sense of community for its readership, arcspace holds exhibitions, discussions and competitions.
(http://www.arcspace.com)

Eolus Islands, founded by Eolus McMillan (Oliver Goh in real life).  On July 6th 2007, some of the worlds top technology innovators unveiled a think tank, called EOLUS One. These unique, multi-cultural, geographically dispersed individuals put Eolus One in a position to come up with new ways of working in the competitive, dynamic, intercultural global business environment. EOLUS One brings together service providers and innovators from many disciplines and industries as one community to create new solutions that take full advantage of the 3D virtual environment to research and develop innovative real to virtual integrations to create virtual operation centers and dynamic 3D visualization tools for the Real Estate Industry. (http://www.eolusone.com)

Architecture Islands founded by Keystone Bouchard (Jon Brouchoud in real life), and was intended to serve as an incubator for architects, designers and students who wanted to explore the potential for Second Life to be used for both professional and academic applications.  The islands hosts meetings of the ‘Architecture in SL’ group, and provided space for the first two Wikitecture experiments, intended to explore the potential for Second Life to be used as a platform for architectural collaboration. (http://www.archsl.wordpress.com)



Updated Reflexive [Tile] Script
February 18, 2008, 10:21 pm
Filed under: reflexive architecture, screenshots

Oze Aichi shared this revised ‘Reflexive Wall Tile’ script, which you can find HERE.

Also, check out Far Link’s ideas about this concept HERE.