The ARCH


Using Virtual Worlds in Residential Design

Using Second Life as part of my real-life practice, Crescendo Design, to meet with long-distance clients and describe design ideas are what drew me into virtual worlds – over 3 years ago now!  I have since had the opportunity to work on a wide variety of purely virtual projects, and still believe virtual worlds will become a game-changing technology for the professional practice of architecture, design and education.

Here’s an update on how we use virtual worlds in residential design practice; cross-posted from Crescendo Design blog: http://www.crescendodesign.com

Kirstens S17 2009-07-06 08-52-36-12

Crescendo Design has been using virtual worlds as part of our practice since June of 2006, and have found it to be a very useful resource for a wide variety of applications.  We’ve used our virtual office to meet with long-distance clients, prototype and share design ideas, host open houses, educational workshops and to demonstrate some of the core design principles we try to incorporate in all of our work.

During virtual meetings, we can test different design ideas in ‘real time’ – meaning the changes we make appear on your screen immediately as they’re made. Clients and builders can even learn the simple building tools and make their own suggestions. The virtual model works great for testing out material choices, paint colors and eventually even landscaping options and furniture layouts.

crescendo1

Recent advances in virtual world technology have made it much easier to import the 3D  models we generate with our architectural software into the virtual environment.  The virtual experience isn’t right for every client, but for those who are more tech-savvy and have newer computers, the virtual experience can provide an invaluable means of understanding design ideas before construction starts in a way that sketches, illustrations, and even animations cannot fully accomodate.  The virtual model provides a much more holistic representation of the design, enabling clients to walk around and experience the design in an immersive way – rather than looking at floor plans and trying to imagine what it will look like.

Kirstens S17 2009-07-06 08-50-32-22

Clients can even give friends and family access to their virtual home, to hear their feedback on the design.  For example, if you’re building a new home  in Wisconsin, but have family in Australia you want to share the design with – you can provide them log-in information.  Soon, they will be standing next to you inside of your soon-to-be new home, and you can invite them in for a tour.  You can even talk to each other with embedded spatialized voice – similar to a phone call or Skype – only its totally free, no matter where you are in the world, and no matter how many people join you for a tour.

Kirstens S17 2009-07-06 08-31-55-47

Kirstens S17 2009-07-06 08-53-18-58

Kirstens S17 2009-07-06 08-56-38-00

Advertisements


Architecture For Humanity Enters the 3D Web

“This is an introduction by Lauren Stokes to Architecture For Humanity’s own interactive digital globe that will host models from their Open Architecture Network. Using X3D Earth and Open Street Map, web3D students sponsored by GeoSherpa are helping Architecture For Humanity in their migration to the open interactive 3D web. To help support green sustainable design, visit www.ArchitectureForHumanity.org

I’ve met some very passionate virtual world evangalists over the years, but I can’t think of any more enthusiastic and persistent than Damon Hernandez, Greg Howes, and the rest of the team that has been work hard at developing this unique feature for the Open Architecture Network.  I knew it wouldn’t be long before they pulled off something extraordinary.  The technology they demonstrate here is an innovative method for touring models that have been uploaded to the OAN network virtually.  Beyond just being able to tour the uploaded buildings, you can understand them in relation to their geographic context, as pinpointed through their integration with Open Street Map. Well done!

[update: While cruising through the rest of Damon’s YouTube uploads, I noticed this machinima showcasing some fo the augmented reality features they’re working on with X3D:




Virtual Model of the Future Green Chatham Home, Grand Opening July 18-20, 2008

Martin Purnell and Associates, a real life development firm located in Chicago, Illinois, opens virtual office on the Etopia sim in Second Life. The construction is nearly complete on the virtual model of the Future Green Chatham homes. They hope to begin building the home in real life sometime early next year (click any screenshot for a slideshow of images).

I talked with avatar Luchenpur Darwin, co-owner of Martin Purnell and Associates in real life, who tells me, “the Second Life model gives you a very real sense of how the home will feel.  Even traffic patterns.” This project, built by Prim Chemistry  on Etopia Island, owned by William Thewise Goodman, is definitely worth a visit!

They will be having a Gran Opening celebration this weekend.  Guided house tour starts at 4:30pm SLT on Friady, July 18th, with Live performance by Harper Messmer at 5pm SL-time, DJ Imajin Brentano from 6-8pm, and Fireworks at 8pm.

They will also have a tour on Saturday July 19th at 4:30pm, with live performance by Vienna James at 5pm, DJ Vivie Durant at 6-8pm and Fireworks at 8pm.

Finally, on Sunday, July 20, they will have a guided house tour at 2:30 PM, a live performance by Truelie Telling at 3pm, DJ Yngwie Krogstad from 4-6pm, and Fireworks at 6pm.