Winy Maas and Philip Rosedale Discuss Architecture in Virtual Worlds at “John Edwards Lecture”

This site has moved to

The Architecture Foundation’s “John Edwards Lecture” is designed to bring a global leading architect into conversation with a contemporary from another discipline.  Last year, it featured Thom Mayne, Morphosis Architects, and Frédéric Flamand, Director, Le Ballet National de Marseille.   This year, the sold out event featured Philip Rosedale (creator of Second Life) in conversation with Winy Maas, co-founder and Director of the highly acclaimed Dutch practice MVRDV.

I wasn’t able to attend or view the event online, but from what I’ve been told, Winy wasn’t able to attend due to heavy snow, but showed up just a few minutes before the lecture was over.  Video from the event will be available “in the new year,” and I will certainly link to it when it happens.   I can hardly wait.

Based on the blips and bits I can find in a wide variety of architectural publications and sites about the event, it sounds like it reached beyond architectural visualization, and into more futuristic concepts of inhabiting virtual environments, and how they might soon begin to replace physical-world counterparts.  I was especially interested to hear Philip returning to a sound-byte I’ve heard him reference in the past, where he suggests that big cities like New York City could soon become like a museums, where everyone is working in virtual counterparts instead.

Here are a few of the blips and bits i could find.  If anyone has any additional links, screenshots or video coverage of this event, please post it in comments!

Wallpaper (if some of their images look familiar, its because they stole several of them from my site without permission, linkage or credit – but its all good… whatever it takes to spread the word about architecture in virtual worlds! =)

“Maas arrived about ten minutes before the lecture’s closure, but despite this his insight on architecture and the role of the architect in Second and real life was compelling, pointing out that one does not even have to go on Second Life in order to see the issues and influence created by such advances of technology and digital representations in architecture of the real world. ‘These days the buildings may not look as great as the best render,’ he said, as the session drew to a close. Will people still appreciate the real life version if the digital world becomes increasingly powerful and ever more high res? It remains to be seen.

The Architecture Foundation: “The John Edwards Lecture: Winy Maas, MVRDV, in dialogue with Second Life creator Philip Rosedale”

Phaidon: “You can imagine New York City being like a museum”: the 2010 John Edwards lecture

London Architecture Diary:  Inhabiting the Future:Philip Rosedale and Winy Maas in conversation.

“Inspired by their positions at the forefront of their respective fields they will take a wide-ranging perspective on built and virtual realities, investigating how the two worlds can learn from, inform and influence each other. A dialogue exploring architecture, urbanism, technology, progress, social systems and visions of the future” (carried the press release)

Architecture Today

Tate Modern:

“in conversation with a hand-picked contemporary from outside the architectural discipline. A chaired dialogue exploring architecture’s role in the wider world and how it can influence and learn from other disciplines,”


“Last year, for the first ever John Edwards Lecture at the Tate Modern, Pritzker Prize laureate andMorphosis principal Thom Mayne discussed his collaborations with Frederic Flamand, director of Ballet National De Marseille. It turned into a rather funny discussion, as Flamand wanted to talk about narrative processes in architecture, which Mayne denounced as completely uninteresting.

This year, Winy Maas will discuss consilience in architecture with Philip Rosedale, creator of virtual world Second Life. The connective tissue between the two lectures is the act of opening up one’s discipline to an inspiring intruder from outside, in order to see how the act of designing buildings can be influenced by, and influential on other fields.”

Architecture Lab: The John Edwards Lecture: MVRDV principal Winy Maas and Second Life creator Philip Rosedale


Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: