Exploring the convergence of the metaverse with the real life practice of architecture. We will explore case studies of RL Architects, Urban Planners, Developers and related fields who are interested in using SL as a professional tool. We will also follow the theory, ideas, predictions and technology that will enable this evolution.


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Autodesk in Second Life

I just returned from Las Vegas, after having the honor of closing Autodesk CEO Carl Bass' keynote presentation with a Second Life tour of our Crescendo Design Virtual Studio in front of 6,500+ attendees. The presentation concluded with 2 separate live feeds from Second Life, whereby Mr. Bass' avatar joined joined Jon's avatar, Keystone Bouchard for a tour of the studio.

I have also had the unique privilege to be working for Clear Ink as they develop Autodesk's Second Life presence in preparation for this demonstration. During the past few weeks, I have been working with a team of incredibly talented people to determine what this project should consist of.

Our goal was to create a space that would highlight the community, social and collaborative features of Second Life, as well as to encourage visitors to begin exploring the world for themselves. As a result, the architecture of Autodesk Island became more of a backdrop or space instead of a strong central icon. The main greeting area is not a heroic corporate building, but is instead an open air forum; designed to foster and encourage interaction between avatars. The forum is surrounded by kiosks that provide tools, tips and tricks to help get people started, as well as a diverse list of landmarks to both mainland and island destinations.

Aloha Avatars, a service designed to help newbie avatars make a comfortable transition into SL, led by TROI TimTam, kept us on task with retaining the 'Second Life Spirit' throughout the island. A strong connection with landscape elements, the water, and lots of other features help create a familiar and comfortable atmosphere. As Autodesk's program elements began settling into the island's landscape, the relaxed and inviting sense of place remained.

One of the concepts we explored (interpreted, designed and built by Scope Cleaver), was to express both a grounded, representational component of block steel and glass, juxtaposed against a light, airy, flowing virtual element we called the aurora spires. The idea was to provide a comfortable and familiar point of departure, which embraces an element clearly defiant of real world physics; indicative of the limitless potential of a virtual environment. However abstract and steep in theory the end result may be, it was my hope that it would read as an invitation for an eventual transition into a new language of virtual architecture - liberated from exclusively representational iconography.

As Chip Poutine reported in 3pointD, Clear Ink's Kiwini Oe was able to develop a DWF import tool that allows 2D CAD drawings to be dynamically updated through Autodesk's Freewheel, directly in Second Life. Also on display is Adrian Herbez's Maya import tool, which allows models to be built using a prim-based plug-in for Maya, and imported into Second Life. These features of Autodesk's demo area represent a taste of things to come, as we continue to develop ways to make Second Life a more fluid and automatic tool for professional use.

The island is currently only open to Autodesk University attendees, but we expect to open the island to the public sometime after the conference.


Second Life Foundations: A Primer for new Architects and Builders

Virtual Suburbia and The Arch will be co-hosting an informal gathering, to welcome new architects to Second Life, and to bring people who love architecture together.

Chip Poutine, Keystone Bouchard and invited guests will be providing helpful tools, tips, contacts, resources and demonstrations to architects who are just getting started in Second Life.

Tuesday, December 5th
7:00 pm Pacific

Tinta Verde 153, 68


On the Move

I sincerely apologize for the delay in entries. We just completed our cross-country move from Wisconsin to California to begin working exclusively within Second Life. I am now working in Berkeley for Clear Ink on some exciting architecture-related SL projects, and will be happy to share more of the story once I'm settled in.

In the meantime, I have gathered some exciting leads on stories related to how the metaverse is augmenting RL Architecture, as well as the stories of some new architects entering the SL scene who are in the process of building their RL projects and bringing in clients.

Stay tuned!


Prim, What Do You Want to Be?

Some predictions via BIMania HERE caught my eye this morning. I'm still trying to digest their meaning, but I think Miguel touches on some interesting points, pertinent to the concentration of this blog:

"there will be an ever growing demand on digital designers... If architects don't do it, somebody else will."

"architecture itself could become inadequate for computers."

This reminded me of a conversation we had at the Society for Virtual Architecture last week:

Keystone: Maybe virtual architects should evoke Louis Kahn and ask the prim, "Prim, what do you want to be?"

Scope Cleaver: "More than you'll ever be."


Architect Writes Science Fiction about VR in Professional Pracitce - via Gwyneth Llewelyn

THIS STORY provides an interesting glimpse into an architect's perception of how the future will transform the practice of architecture. I think the dates he predicts are a bit distant though. He suggests that his fictitious firm started using virtual reality in 2014. I predict hundreds of firms will be using some form of it by the end of 2008.


Virtual Mies: Farnsworth House in Second Life (via Content Confessional)

Built by: Maximilian Milosz
To see the house click: Farnsworth House at Amicitia (220, 220)

Via Content Confessional

Oblivion and Half Life: Importing Models, by Digitally Distributed Environments

THESE PEOPLE are doing some very important work. I think they're admittedly on a steep learning curve, but they're ascending rapidly, and are definitely making me dream about the possibilities.

Architecture in Virtual Worlds: A Panel Discussion

I was sitting on the edge of my seat throughout the entire video posted here: State of Play III : Scroll to Architecture in Virtual Worlds
via Kanker Greenacre [today: 17:51]

Why are comprehensive symposiums with discussions about virtual architecture happening at law schools (4 years in a row), and not at architecture schools? If there have been, please send links to video/blog!

"State of Play III: Social Revolutions was the third annual State of Play conference on the future of cyberspace convened by the Institute for Information Law & Policy at New York Law School, the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School."