The ARCH


From Auckland to Aalborg: The Architecture in Virtual Worlds Dialog

This blog has moved!  Please read this post on our new blog location:http://archvirtual.com/?p=3311

There were more than 42,000 kilometers separating this group if you connected our locations around the globe.   For Amr Attia, in Cairo, Egypt, it was 10:00 in the evening.  For Judy Cockeram, it was just 9:00 in the morning – but it was the next day for her, half-way around the world, in Auckland, New Zealand.  Together with Moira Hunter (Paris, France), Bernd Boetzel (Berlin, Germany), Brad Kligerman (Cambridge, Massachussets)  David Denton (Knoxville, USA),  Scott Chase (Aalborg, Denmark) and myself  (Madison, USA), this group joined together in the same time and place on Architecture Island in Second Life to have one of the most interesting and inspiring conversations I’ve witnessed in a long time.  I may never cease to be amazed by this global network, and the virtual fabric we use to stitch it all together.

The creative and potential energy in this space was incredible, and I was honored to be a part of it.   Each of these participants has completed and promoted specific initiatives and projects aimed at increasing awareness and raising the bar for architectural uses of virtual worlds, and it was very exciting to see this group gathered together in the same time and place.  We’re definitely looking forward to many more discussions, with wider participation, in the future!

This blog has moved!  Please read this post on our new blog location:http://archvirtual.com/?p=3311

Watch the full discussion video here: http://blip.tv/file/5024974

Advertisements


Fragility of Spaces: French Architecture Students Present Second Life Work at VWBPE

This blog has moved!  Please read this post on our new blog location: http://archvirtual.com/?p=3295

From my studio in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, I’m listening to 3 architecture students in Paris, France presenting design concepts they developed during a week-long ‘intensive’ design studio at Paris-Malaquais using the virtual world Second Life, and I feel as though I’m participating in architecture’s best kept secret.  I’m joined by dozens of others logged in from every corner of the world as part of this <a href=”http://www.vwbpe.org/&#8221; target=”_blank”>VWBPE Conference</a> session by the newly founded European initiative ‘ARCHI21,’ and can think of no other medium, method or technology that could bridge our worlds as effectively.  As I listened carefully to their fascinating presentations, I was totally immersed and engaged, and if the quantity and thoughtfulness of the back-channel chat was any indication, the others in attendance were equally impressed.

This intensive was the first time most of these students had been exposed to Second Life for architectural design, and due to time constraints, they were given very little time to prepare for this presentation.  Not only that, but they are presenting their work in English, their second language, which is a significant part of what ARCHI21 is all about:

“A consortium of British, Danish, French and Slovenian universities has just begun its first action learning phase of ARCHI21, a two-year project as a part of the EU Education and Culture DG Lifelong Learning Programme.  Innovative approaches converge language learning, architecture and design, social media and 3D virtual worlds.   With a thematic focus on communication of  ‘respecting fragile places’ , this project explores the areas of  a) content &amp; language integrated learning in higher and vocational education sectors,  b) the inter-relationship between linguistic competence and design competence building in project-based learning and  c) the intercultural issues to be considered.”

I was in awe at the quality and theoretical sophistication of their work, and the deep thinking they had put into these projects in such a short space of time.   Having spent the past several years exploring virtual architecture, I was challenged and even a little intimidated by what these students were able to come up with in just one week.  My only criticism might be that I think they seem to have underestimated the utility of common ‘real world’ visual cues and practical function of virtual spaces – instead prioritizing pure philosophical and theoretical exploration.  I think it’s possible to achieve a balance between conceptual thinking with the more pragmatic concerns of potential end-users of these spaces – blending form and function into a seamless composition, rather than favoring one over the other.  However, they may have explored this more than I am aware, and since this was their first exposure to Second Life, with only had a single week’s development time, I can hardly fault them for not exploring every possible angle.

I am honored to be a part of this fascinating project as an associate partner as ARCH Virtual, and will be sharing much more of their work as it is made public.  Congratulations and thanks to these 3 students for sharing their work!

This blog has moved!  Please read this post on our new blog location: http://archvirtual.com/?p=3295