Archive for the 'education' Category

Metaverse Lessons

2006.07.12 (Wednesday, July 12)

In SL things change, move, rotate all the time. Even most shops that have been there for a while tend to evolve and change over time… my dream home is probably not yours. [comment thanks to Eloise Pasteur from the SLED list]

The built environment, whether in real life (RL) or in Second Life (SL), has a context. Cities, suburbs, geography, nature, even atmosphere are the substance of this context. For an architectural project, in this case, one whose intention is primarily pedagogic, the student comes to understand this context through analysis, so as to intelligently decide whether to :

1/ directly respond to this context by incorporating it into the process of creating new space… ie. form and space “emerge” from the textures, forces and the built surroundings of the build. They can be thought of as a continuation or an act of putting the site in “tension” through the newly built spaces. The great Frank Lloyd Wright could be thought of as working kind of like this (to use an obvious reference) ; or,

2/ conceive the spaces independently of this context, and then haphazardly, algorithmically, voluntarily or slyly “juxtapose” the two. In this case, the engagement of the project is to be found in the articulation between usages, the form and the context. A good, contemporary RL example of this can be found in the work of Zaha Hadid (amongst many others).

Of course, an architectural project is never simply defined by choosing (a) or (b), but rather is a complex melange of the 2 approaches. Read the rest of this entry »

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Metaverse Architecture

2006.07.11 (Tuesday, July 11)

Studio, in a school of architecture, is a course where students develop architectural projects according to specific conditions : a location, a usage, and a MacGuffin. The MacGuffin, in this case, is the theoretical framework that orients the exercise by identifying, expressing and teaching the desired critical lessons concerning the how’s and the why’s of “making architecture.” The studio that I lead concentrates on the invention of intelligent spaces that are respective of an expressive media (both digital and material), a local and global context and the materials and constructive techniques (technologies) that the project’s forms engage. And the MacGuffin, which is the device with which these other aspects are taught. Beginning in the fall semester 2006, I plan to bring +/- 25 students from my studio into Second Life (SL) to participate in making architecture simultaneously in the real, material world and in a virtual one.


The main ideas behind this studio, and the reasons for it taking place in real life (RL) and SL are to :

  1. explore the thesis that SL (as well as other metaverse type 3-D environments) has the potential to develop singular, expressive spatial media;
  2. optimize and focus intended goals of the studio course by radicalizing its pedagogic content;
  3. innovate upon the formal, material and perceptive information conveyed by space (in both SL and RL) through precise exercises that concern the invention of architectural space.

A rough sketch of the planning organizes the semester into 3 parts… Read the rest of this entry »