New Sandbox for Architecture Islands
November 12, 2008, 1:48 am
Filed under: architecture island | Tags: , ,

Come check the new Architecture Islands sandbox!  If you’re just getting started, this is a great location to learn the ropes and get to know the building tools.

The parcel is set to Auto-Return every 120 minutes, so be careful to save your creations occasionally (right click the entire build and select ‘Take a Copy’ from the pie menu).

Here is the location:


Land Available for Rent on Architecture Islands in Second Life
November 6, 2008, 11:54 pm
Filed under: architecture island | Tags: , , ,


Sorry for the delay, but here are the parcels currently available on Architecture Islands.  Rent is 1.5 lindens per 1 square meter, and is due on the month-date you start renting (if you start renting on the 5th, your rent is due every 5th of the month).  Simple enough!  IM Keystone Bouchard with questions or inquiries.

Parcel 1: 4080 sqm = 6120 Lindens per month:

Parcel 2: 2912 sqm = 4368 Lindens per month:

Parcel 3: 10112 sqm = 15168 Lindens per month:

Be2Camp Starting Soon! Exploring Web 2.0 and the Built Environment
Exploring Web 2.0 and the Built Enviornment

Exploring Web 2.0 and the Built Enviornment

Be2camp is free to register and free to attend , and will be starting in just a few hours!  This will be a BarCamp style ‘Unconference’ to promote the use of Web 2.0 technologies in the Built Environment (eg Architecture, Construction, Engineering, Facilities Management industries.  More info here:

If all goes well, we will have a live stream on both Architecture Island and Public Works Island.  If not, you can watch it on the web live at:

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, 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.

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. (

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. (

Make it Right: The Pink Project Freebies
December 5, 2007, 3:40 am
Filed under: architecture island, brad pitt, make it right, makeitrightnola, pink project

The Architecture Islands of Second Life have seen no shortage of humanitarian aid projects this year!

First we built the Porchdog (machinima) for Cameron Sinclair’s Second Life appearance. Then, the Wikitecture group started work on a telemedical center for a poor village in Nepal, and now a new installation on Architecture Island (SLurl) is aimed at helping ‘The Pink Project‘ realize its goal of helping to rebuild New Orleans in the wake of devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, and becoming “an installation potent enough to focus immediate global attention onto a pervasive local issue.”

The ‘Make it Happen‘ website rocks, and the 3D interactive donation part of the site is awesome. But I must admit I was driven to distraction by thoughts of how incredible this project would have been if it were actually a place you could visit in Second Life, where you could literally live inside these houses, walk around the neighborhood, meet other members of the community, watch videos, hang out with Brad Pitt’s avatar, and so on. 😉

I can definitely respect the value of a web-based client that anyone can easily engage without a massive download, and with zero learning curve. Yet I still can’t help but notice how many times the word community is used on the site, and how much the success of this project depends on visualization, awareness and high levels of interactivity. They have an all-start lineup of contributing architects, including BNIM , Kieran Timberlake , Morphosis , Pugh + Scarpa , Adjaye Architects , Constructs , Graft, MVRDV , Shigeru Ban Architects . Wouldn’t it be great if visitors and donors from all around the world could hang out in the living rooms of these houses or walk the Lower 9th Ward from wherever in the world they happen to live?

The build’s value could easily extend far beyond the reach of the Make it Right project, living on as a continuous resource and demonstration tool of these innovative and ecologically responsible designs. Home Depot, their primary sponsor, could even enjoy the indirect opportunity to test the metaverse waters if they haven’t already. After all, Sears is already in pretty deep, and DIY Shopper looks promising.

My bias aside, what really engaged me was the visual potency of the Pink Project installation, and its potential for raising awareness and intrigue around this issue. By reducing the architectural massing of a home to its formal essence, then wrapping it in a single bold color, they have created a simple, yet very bold expression that extends to an urban scale. The concept depends on active community, thrives on collaboration, and walks the line between art, architecture, graphic design, theater and urban planning. In sum, this installation is absolutely ideal for a Second Life counterpart.

As a grassroots gesture in lieu of an official Second Life presence for The Pink Project, I temporarily covered parts of Architecture Island in pink canvas, and created a small neighborhood of the smaller pink houses as well. For what it’s worth, each of these houses are free for anyone to copy (set for sale at $0). You are encouraged to take as many as you want, copy them as much as you want, and give as many of them away as you can. All donations should be made directly through

Make it Right!

Gehry Inspired Build Opens Thursday, Dec. 6th at 5:30PM SL-time
December 4, 2007, 6:33 pm
Filed under: architecture island, ted mikulski, the tracer

submitted by ‘The Tracer’

“So I began to think about Gehry and his ideas of form and beauty as it pertains to space. The ideas behind his aesthetics are unmatched, but the functionality of his builds in RL are somewhat unsuccessful. Therefore, in no other place do Gehrys designs belong more, than in Second Life.

I first began to think about creating a Gehry Inspried design when I was looking for a challenge. Using geometries in Second Life to create an organic shape is not an easy task. So upon laying out the structure for the build, I decided to keep the general spaces of the building open for use, since I had no purpose for it yet.

The building indeed was a challenge, but I feel that it is a success. It is both imperfect in form, and staggering in scale. It is a pure expression of architectural exploration.

The opening for the build will be December 6th at 5:30 PM SLT. I will give a brief 5-10 minute presentation, then everyone can walk through the build.

The building will be available for purchase (and possibly auctioned off) shortly after the opening.”

A slideshow of screenshots is HERE.

Architecture Islands: Land Available for Rent
November 19, 2007, 3:45 am
Filed under: architecture island

Looking for cheap land to rent for your next architecture-related project?  Architecture Islands now has 2 parcels  available at 1.5 lindens per 1 square meter per month.  Both are about 5,000 sqm parcels.  These parcels own’t last long, so send me an IM – Keystone Bouchard – to reserve your spot!

Collaborative City Planning, Urban Design and Architecture in Second Life – Machinima

Here are two demonstrations of collaboration in Second Life. The first shows how city planners, urban designers or members of the community might use virtual worlds to describe, discuss and even co-create design concepts. The second shows how multiple contributors can work together simultaneously on an architectural design concept.

Of course, it is evident that something is missing in this collaborative process. It is not yet ‘wiki’, insofar as people cannot return to previous iterations, or evaluate the effectiveness of other contributions. Conflicts of opinion cannot be easily resolved, and input from the other contributors must be synchronous. What this means is if all of the contributors are not on site at all times, the design can take on a completely different direction based on extensive work by a single designer without group consensus. Furthermore, there is no easy way to resort to a previous iteration should such a conflict of opinion occur. Commenting on the success or failure of another designer’s contribution is left to synchronous chat, with no easy way to discern the opinion of the entire group at any time.

If we really want collaboration in virtual worlds to be more wiki-like, we will need tools. We hope the ‘Wikitecture Tree’ will help us take steps toward realizing an ‘Open Source Architecture’ and will be launching it soon to help the Studio Wikitecture group take on the Open Architecture Challenge.

Here’s a brief clip showing one part of the Wikitecture Tree, namely the ‘leaves’. The leaf color is based on its popularity, where orange leaves are least popular, green leaves are more popular, and a ‘trunk’ being the current community favorite – based on an integrated vote tallying system. When a new iteration is submitted to the tree, it automatically creates a new leaf. Contributors will be able to cycle through, vote and comment on each design as they rez on an adjacent platform. A better explanation is on the SW blog HERE.

Join the Studio Wikitecture group in SL to partipate in the next experiment!  Everyone is welcome.

Design Festival Hamburg Visits Architecture Island
October 14, 2007, 3:52 am
Filed under: architecture island, design festival hamburg | Tags: , , , , , ,

In the virtual world of Second Life currently a considerable amount of design for buildings and interior design is emerging. Yet there are limits to the capacity for detail. Is this parallel world useful for the development, presentation and sale of design in the real world? Can the medium be used to work collectively on blueprints? Could all planners together tour these with the help of virtual 3D modeling? We see our office in Second Life as an experiment to pursue this idea. Stay at home or in the office and visit us from there in Second Life. Results will be presented in real life at a closing event.”

From the Design Festival Hamburg website. Screenshots by Theory Shaw, who tried to make contact with the group, but they were unresponsive. Were they protesting, or just promoting? Their signs appeared to be neutral, nothing more than festival logos, and they weren’t chanting anything negative, so I think we can safely conclude that Architecture Island is still a safe haven for closet virtual-architecture meterati who still believe this is the future of architecture. 😉

Limits to the capacity for detail? Perhaps they haven’t seen Scope Cleaver’s work yet.

Rationalist Virtual Architecture, Giuseppe Terragni Inspires

Transcript of Gioacchino Laryukov’s presentation is below.  Transcript of the entire discussion can be found HERE.

“Giuseppe Terragni (1904-43) was an Italian architect who worked in the ’30’s during a period when others such as Sartoris, Cattaneo, Figini, Lingeri, Pollini were active; an era known as rationalism.  His best known works can be found in the city of Como, where he lived and worked during his brief life. You can find a listing of rationalist buildings in Como here:   The main works are: Edificio ad appartamenti Novocomum (1927-29), Casa del Fascio di Como (1928-32), Monumento ai caduti (on a Sant’Elia drawing, 1931-33), Asilo infantile Sant’Elia (1935-37)” all of this in Como; and Casa ad appartamenti Rustici (1933-35) and Lavezzari (1934-35) in Milan.

Looking at his buildings, you can identify some aesthetic analogies with the house I have built here.  I have choosen to use some of same style characteristics (like the white walls) and materials (like the glass blocks) to emphasize the reference to 1930’s architecture and in particular, the Modern Movement.  My reference to Terragni’s architecture is not so much about the appearance, but rather, the manner in which the building is constructed and the way you move through it. The appearance is the result of the process.  I will try to explain further:

Buildings in SL start with the prim…  its finished volume. A prim could be in and of itself a house.  Only you must create the internal space by emptying it.  What I mean is that a room  is not a space limited by four walls, a floor and a roof, but rather it is the internal space of a volume, therefore of a prim.  We can also say that the walls, roof and so on, are not single elements, but are parts of that volume.  You can better understand what I intended by looking at the ground floor of my house.  There is a cube or rectangular box that is an emptied prim and is therefore a room. The rest is only virtual and open space defined by the grate.  I want to highlight that the single elements cannot really enclose the space on their own, they don’t create a room, instead the interior of the volume can do it, likewise when two sides are opened.

The construction of the architecture is a work on volumes, and the space between those volumes.  Working with some architects on the lineage of Terragni, you will often hear the term “equilibrio fra pieni e vuoti,† which is to say “balance between fullness and empty†.  If you look at this house you can see three main volumes:  two big cubes (10x10x10mt) to the sides, and a central cuboid that is a 10x7x5mt which is transparent at the side opposite of the stairs.  Looking at the side where the stairs are located, you can see the building as a unique volume, a cube that measures 30x10mt that has been hollowed and cut to obtain the space needed.  The central volume has beed reduced to create a place for the stairs, but also this is the first step towards the development of the project.  I built this house working on these three volumes, not on the single walls themsleves but based on the relationship between these three elements.  I have rezzed the main prims and moved them near each other.  The shape, size and character of the main prims then become the foundation for the modification of another prim…. and so on, until a situation develops which I consider to be balanced.  In this way, the side of the central cube, which is only 7mt, is used to create the place for the stairs, and this has determined the second level and the upper windows of the main cube.  In this manner, the cube has become the structure for the internal development of the main cube.   This is more evident in the other 10x10x10mt cube, which was hollowed and cut to the level of the roof of the cuboid.  Also, it was divided in two different spaces by the measurements of the cuboid and this is visible in the external walls by the glass blocks.

The central message here is that the building develops based on the relationship between simple prims in a succession of steps, in which a prim dictates how you will modify the next and that one will impact the next…. and so on… Going back to Terragni:  it is clear – especially in the Novocomum and in the Casa del Fascio – that his projects are, above all, a play on volumes.  The Novocomum is a simple cube and the edges have been first hollowed and then that space has been occupied by cylinders.  These cylinders become the foundation for the continous taper of the first floor and for the development of the balconies. The single elements like walls, balconies, roof are the volume’s children.  More complex is the construction of the Casa del Fascio which is a perfect half cube (33x33x26mt). it has been partially hollowed and in this way you have other volumes, new relationships and new spaces which become the seeds for others to be developed in a succession of filling up, emptying, and cutting in spaces which are then born and take form.

The exterior appearance is the mirror; the result of the work on the volumes.  This is rightfully called rationalism because all the parts of the building have a precise connection with the other parts, and all the parts of the building are elements of the procedure from which the building emanates.  that’s alll what I would like to say..