The ARCH


Event Reminder: Chris Luebkeman

June 14, 10AM PST Chris Luebkeman : Future Challenges: Global Creative Contexts

This is one not to miss! Chris definitely ‘gets’ Second Life. While working with him to prepare this event, his enthusiasm and vision for the potential of virtual worlds was immediately evident. His presentation is sure to engage and inspire!

Event description: Population shifts, increasing scarcity, and the wanton consumption of arable land and natural (renewable and nonrenewable) resources amount to what could prove to be a significant global dilemma – a dilemma of disastrous proportion. Yet trends in design and an ever-increasing focus on conservation and environmental issues suggest that we are headed for a collective change. This program considers the impact of global drivers of change on sustainable creative contexts, explores potential implications, and provides attendees with examples of design work that is already responding to the challenges.

Attend this event on Autodesk Island HERE (SLurl).

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Raising Real Money to Build Real Houses and a Case for Virtual Collaboration

Machinima showing Cameron Sinclair and John Gage discussing virtual collaboration and Open Architecture Network in Second Life.

Sponsored by Sun Professional Services, coordinated by Clear Ink, machinima by Kiwini Oe.



Green Design Forum

Join Simran Sethi, host of “The Green” on the Sundance Channel, in Second Life for weekly discussion forums on environmental issues and solutions.

Topic: BUILD – How can we “green” our own homes?

Where: “The Green” forum takes place in the Main Screening Room on Sundance Channel Island

TONIGHT at 7pm!!!



Design Like you Give a Damn! Cameron Sinclair in Second Life

Cameron Sinclair, 2006 TED Prize winner, Executive Director of Architecture for Humanity, co-editor of the book ‘Design Like You Give A Damn‘ and contributing writer for Worldchanging.com will be joined by Sun Microsystems founder John Gage in a live audio discussion in Second Life.

They will discuss collaboration and participation in 3D environments, as well as the newly launched ‘Open Architecture Network‘ – which represents the fulfillment of Cameron’s 2006 TED wish. The event will feature a virtual version of the ‘Porchdog‘ and the Global Village Shelters – both of which are contributions to the Open Architecture Network.

The event will be held on Clear Ink‘s Allston sim HERE (SLurl) on Tuesday, April 24th at 10:00 am PST (SL-time). Installations and live audio stream will also be available at the University Project sim (SLurl), and the live audio can also be heard on Clear Ink Island (SLurl).

Sponsored by Sun Professional Services, coordinated by Clear Ink.



Post-Katrina Virtuality: The Porchdog

As a contribution to Architecture for Humanity’s Open Architecture Network, I built this virtual model on Architecture Island (SLurl).   Real-life construction of the Porchdog home is part of Architecture for Humanity‘s effort to provide housing relief and redevelopment in post-Katrina Biloxi, Mississippi.

Given the open and collaborative nature of this initiative, I think Second Life provides a perfect platform for visualizing, co-designing and brainstorming future contributions to the Network. Perhaps architects and designers from all around the world could gather virtually and collaborate on real-time relief solutions in the wake of an unforeseen disaster.

In reading some of the descriptive principles of Open Architecture Network, I think it’s clear that these goals can be readily fulfilled through virtual collaboration.

“The Open Architecture Network is an online, open source community dedicated to improving living conditions through innovative and sustainable design. Here designers of all persuasions can:

• Share their ideas, designs and plans
• View and review designs posted by others
• Collaborate with each other, people in other professions and community leaders to address specific design challenges
• Communicate easily amongst team members”

It’s about visualization, collaboration and community; all of which are existing features of Second Life. I would love to see SL become a catalyst for virtual collaboration toward this end, and hope we can find a way the Architecture Group can help facilitate it.

This machinima has already been posted to the Network, and can be seen at the bottom of THIS page. While I was at it, I posted our entry into the Cradle to Cradle design competition, seen HERE.

More soon!



Virtual Sustainability

Following up on the premise of the ‘Virtual Architecture as the Ultimate Green‘ concept, I wrote some additional thoughts in a comment to a thread on the sustainability or ecological footprint of virtual worlds over at Clickable Culture, pasted below – originally written HERE. As the metaverse and the practice of architecture begin to converge, I think this topic will become increasingly valid.

“I am glad to see this conversation continue to surface!

I posed a similar question to the ‘Architects in SL’ group a few weeks ago, which turned into quite a passionate discussion.

We all agree on the need for a solid and verified base metric of the collective and individual metaversal footprint.

My feeling is that even a small percentage of physical presence transcending into a virtual mode would result in a significant net decrease in the overall footprint.

When you factor in the reduced transportation, the embodied energy of the materials required to build physical space as well as the energy required to constantly condition the air in that space, it seems likely that a virtual model for the same space would consume far less energy in the overall scheme of things.

As the technology evolves, I think it’s reasonable to assume that virtual interaction will actually become better, and more effective than certain types of physical interaction. Some might say it already is. If that’s true, and we start to see a more significant shift from bricks-and-mortar dependency into a more virtual mode, I’m confident the footprint balance would surely favor virtuality.

The metrics will be critical in helping us determine where that balance point lies. It needs to be very holistic in its consideration as well. For example, I would like to be able to understand how the footprint (including commuting, architecture, individual computers, and the office server)of a physical office of 50 people compares with that of 50 people working from home, not commuting long distances, still using individual computers, but accessing a sim server instead of their traditional office server. How would the two compare?

Obviously not every kind of physical interaction lends itself to virtuality. But when I think of the magnitude of even a small percentage of physical space, on a global scale, that could be accommodated virtually, I wonder if it could be the ultimate green – to not build anything at all.

I look forward to continuing this dialogue! “