more musings on the virtual world
- The Gross Point charrette
is a pretty amazing example of the power of the internet. As I said in that thread this is the first time, to my knowledge, that an internet group has led to spontaneous action in the quality of built environment in the real world. It started with an innocent thread that led to real action by a group of committed and talented professionals, that is real power.
It is also nice to hear about the Second Life resistance and satire.
In other SL news it seems like someone has taken it upon him/her self to bring sustainability to Second Life. This place sells (not very interesting) houses with wind turbines and all the works. At least this can be a way to educate the public and as Heather Ring put it: "sustainable architecture in SL is an absurdity, but there's nothing inherently worse about an image of a McMansion than an image of something imaginative or responsive." You can find Crescendo Designs in the Architecture Island of SL.
Virtual Sustainability:The Bad AND the Ugly
- This previous blog entry
and the feature from Bryan and Heather
made me want to continue looking at Second Life. And since in Pro-Practice I had to write a paper on architecture as a profession I wrote about the profession in the virtual world. I did most of the reading recommended in the previous log entry for this paper, thanks for all your suggestions.
Doing more research and flying around in Second Life I found out about a case study I find troubling and wanted to share with archinecters. The hotel chain Starwood Hotels hired Electric Sheep
to take their new Aloft hotel into Second Life. They built the hotel on the website and with the help and feedback of Second Lifers they changed the design. Starwood recently broke ground for the same hotel in real life with the above mentioned changes.
There is something about this democratic approach that appeals to me, but in none of the literature I have found I have seen anything about a real architect involved in the project. Although I am sure that for legal purposes there was in fact an architect at some point, that person seems to have been dropped from the design process. Judging by the design of the hotel a real architect's hand could have helped.
It seems that Electric Sheep and other virtual firms are beginning to use the term "virtual architect" and "metaverse architect". Although the title bothers me (I think that not too long from now we will see a fight for the title of architect, even in the virtual world), I think I have a more fundamental problem with so called virtual architects making design decisions that are being translated into the real built environment. How long will it take for the AIA, NCARB, and others to react? Is a reaction necessary?Listen to the podcast
Architecture without Architects: