The ARCH


FOR SALE: Architecture Islands
August 1, 2009, 4:35 pm
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First off…if you’re currently renting parcels on Architecture Islands, have no fear!  Your prims are safe with me!
 
However, I have given a lot of thought to my priorities and objectives in virtual worlds, and I’ve come to the conclusion that Architecture Islands (and the tenants they serve) are probably best left to new management for a variety of reasons.
 
I firmly believe in the premise of providing inexpensive land as an ‘incubator’ for exploring architecture in virtual worlds, and I think Architectures Islands continue to serve that purpose well.  However, I have come to realize that there is a very big difference between the objective of exploring ‘virtual architecture’ and the idea of bringing mainstream AEC adoption to virtual worlds through land rentals – which was the original goal of Architecture Islands way back when.  3 years after purchasing the first sim, we still don’t have the ability to import models from architectural software, rendering ‘mainstream adoption’ a distant dream.  I understand the political, technological and economical impact such a feature would require of the Lab, and I absolutely respect their decision to avoid it.  I also trust that they they have a lot more on their plate to consider than anyone can imagine or assume from the outside looking in.  I still have good reason to believe that they’re working on such a feature – but I’ve been thinking that for years…  Until then, I’ll continue to focus on purely virtual design – which I have grown to love as much, perhaps more, than practicing traditional architecture.
 
That said, there are architecture firms – both large and small – that are serious about using virtual worlds in professional practice are working on their own sims, both in Second Life and opensim.  They have discovered unique ways of using virtual worlds that don’t place as much emphasis on fluid import/export of 3D models.  However, these aren’t the kind of projects that benefit from a small rented parcel that remains open to the public 24/7.  They have a very different set of requirements and objectives. 
 
For what its worth, I remain active in some of the newer pioneer worlds that do allow mesh imports, but its still early days, and the effectiveness of building an incubator model like Architecture Islands is still questionable until greater stability and ease of use can be achieved.  When import/export of professional models becomes fluid and seamless, there will obviously be lots of new opportunities – but will most likely require a very different model than simply providing subdivided land parcels. 
 
Just to clarify – I’m not leaving virtual worlds!  In fact, I continue to have the good fortune of being involved with a wide variety of projects, both large and small, in both Second Life and opensim.  As such, I’ve decided that – as a matter of priorities – I would much rather focus on continuing to build my design practice than continuing to micro-manage parcels on Architecture Islands.
 
So, make an offer!  If there aren’t any takers for the 3 sims by August 15th, I’ll begin working with existing tenants to help consolidate parcels and hopefully find ways to maintain their current composition – perhaps under collective ownership, or some new management structure.  Again, if you’re an existing tenant, please trust that I will provide plenty of notice before vacating or transferring the sims so that you won’t lose any prims! 
 
See you in-world!
Keystone Bouchard (Jon Brouchoud)
info (at) archvirtual.com
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