The ARCH


A few good links

Architect Designs Sony’s Virtual World: http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/jan2009/gb20090123_837565.htm?chan=top+news_top+news+index+-+temp_global+business
(hat tip to Bettina Tizzy for finding this)

The battle to rebuild London has begun:http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/jan/15/internet-web20-victor-keegan
(via Digital Urban)

Enhance Live Events With Virtual Ones: http://webworkerdaily.com/2009/01/23/enhance-live-events-with-virtual-ones/

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Announcing Architecture Days on Orange Island

“In our discovery of the aspects that influence the most the residents life, we decided to focus on a topic that is at heart of the our experience in Second Life: Architecture.

From Monday 17th to Wednesday 21st, join us on the Orange Island for the Architecture Days. We will have promising panels dotted with talk-show, show&tell, class and demo.”

Count me in!  Learn more here: http://www.orange-island.com/?p=1114



AIA (American Institute of Architects) Chapter Endorses Second Life Design Competition

From Dakota Dreamscape:

Welcome to the Dakota Skies Cultural Center ~~Chaplet Design Competition

Theme: A Spiritual Respite

Chaplet Exhibition:
Will open approximately  15 December 2008 and run thru 15 January 2009 on the grounds of the Dakota Skies Cultural Center

  • The number of entries chosen for the Chaplet Exhibition will depend on the total entries and the overall quality of submissions
  • Winning entries will go on permanent display at DSCC (Region: Dakota Ranch)

Prize Awards
Depending on the number of winning entries, Merit Awards will be given at $1000L and one Honor Award will be given at $5000L.

Deadline to Enter:
15 November 2008

  • Submit by dropping 1 (complete) Entry/object into inventory of Dakota Dreamscape

Prim Limit:
75 prims. Scripts must be pre-approved

Size limit:
No greater than    X: 6m   Y: 9m  Z: 5m

  • shape is optional provided it is within overall size limits
  • must be large enough for 1-2 normal size avatars to easily walk around inside

Submissions must:

  • be submitted in one unit which will rez complete when set on ground. No additional assembly
  • allow full permissions
  • must have at least 2 places to sit
  • must allow a place for a piece of art created by Chapl Paisley. She will place a piece of art or sculpture appropriate for each winning entry.

Embargo:
Submitters agree that no copy or version of submission ( from the design and building process ) will appear in any other venue or public place through the end of the exhibition.   Embargo Release: 20 January 2009

Jurors:

  • Dakota Dreamscape
  • Chapl Paisley
  • Jurors reserve the right to reject any entries not reflecting the theme or out-of-compliance with any of the criteria expressed or implied.

Endorsement:

This Design Competition is endorsed by AIA North Dakota (American Institute of Architects North Dakota Chapter)



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: http://be2camp.ning.com/

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: http://be2camp.ning.com/page/page/show?id=2236538%3APage%3A2388



UNIT 13

This video is now officially my favorite Second Life machinima of all time (not just because they mention Wikitecture 😉  Their use of hybrid machinima is incredibly well done, and the way they portray the architectural possibilities of virtual space is very inspiring; emphasizing a kind of virtual architecture not exclusively tethered to physical replication, yet navigationally familiar enough to prevent disorientation.

UNIT 13 is an informal unit of the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. It was organized to explore the capabilities of virtual worlds for architectural practice. Unit 13 is currently operated within Second Life.”

Outstanding work, Unit 13!  We can’t wait to see what you guys do next!

Thanks to Dusan Writer for the heads up!



S,M,L,XL, SL

Here we have Lebbeus Woods, who “continues to work at a small drafting table in a corner of his apartment here, a solitary, monklike figure churning out increasingly abstract architectural fantasies…”

Would someone please get this man a Second Life account?

He even has a show running at MoMA called ‘Dreamland’  (not to be confused with Anshe Chung’s virtual ‘Dreamland‘ empire in Second Life).

If ever there was an architect who’s work would benefit from virtual immersion, it is Lebbeus Woods.  His sketches are brilliant, and will always hold an important post in architectural expression, but they are just so many static portals into his imagination.  Wouldn’t it be better if the rest of the world could walk inside  living, breathing, holistic creations in a virtual environment instead of traveling to MoMA to see sketches?

We have seen several projects within Second Life that have this kind of ‘shake-up’ potential to challenge the status quo, and even some outward facing projects that challenge real life architectural norms.  But they’re still essentially off the industry radar, with very little uptake in mainstream discussion or education.  There is no doubt in my mind that native architectural talent already immersed in Second Life has the skill and wherewithal to achieve such great heights, but how and when will their work be counted amongst the industry’s FIC?  Will it ever be?  Should it be?

In my humble opinion, the vast, amorphous, virtual fabric of the Second Life grid itself is already worthy of inclusion and consideration as one of the most significant architectural achievements of our time.  The profound, the abstract, the literal, the silly, the corporate, the preposterous, the serious…the whole thing, every prim of it, ought to be considered a magnificent architectural manifestation on par with even the most recognized theoretical inventions.  To be sure, Second Life is the greatest singular manifestation of free, creative architectural expression the world has ever seen. Yet it remains all but ignored by our profession.

When will architectural giants of theory see the low hanging fruit of virtual environments as a tool for enabling people from around the world to more fully experience their ideas in an immersive and holistic fashion than sketches and illustrations offer?  Will they ever?  Or will it have to be born from within?  It seems increasingly clear to me that the architectural greats of tomorrow’s serious theory might not come from hallowed halls, but from avatars, and communities of avatars operating in virtual environments- not starchitects or solitary monklike figures.

Here are some other ‘food-for-thought’ quotes from this article about Lebbeus that I find very applicable to our collective work on the virtual frontier of architecture industry.

“During the 1960s firms like Superstudio in Florence, Italy, and Archigram in London were designing urban visions intended to shake up the status quo. These projects – walking, mechanized cities and mirrored megastructures that extended over mountain ranges and across deserts – were stinging attacks on a professional mainstream that avant-garde architects believed lacked imaginative energy.”

“By abandoning fantasy for the more pragmatic aspects of building, the profession has lost some of its capacity for self-criticism, not to mention one of its most valuable imaginative tools.”

And finally, a quote directly from Woods, “what interests me is what the world would be like if we were free of conventional limits. Maybe I can show what could happen if we lived by a different set of rules.”

Welcome to Second Life, Mr. Woods!

Quotes from “Lebbeus Woods: An architect who still explores the fringes of reality” in the International Herald Tribune.  Full article HERE.

Images from ‘Architecture My Ninja Please” post HERELebbeus Woods on Wikipedia.



Still on the Stump

Be sure to check out this month’s issue of Business Week’s ‘SmallBiz’ publication, for it’s cover story, “First Stop: Second Life,” which explores how several small business (including Crescendo Design!) are using Second Life to prototype real life designs.  I was told there will soon be an online slideshow to complement the print article, but I haven’t seen it live yet: http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz

Also, tune in to last Sunday’s episode of Tonight Live with Paisley Beebe, to hear more of Keystone evangelizing Second Life as a platform for architectural collaboration and design.  I had a blast on the set with these folks – incredibly professional, and highly entertaining!  http://slcn.tv/tonight-live-paisley-beebe-17aug08