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Virtual Lessons Apply to Offline Designs

Virtual Architecture 101Jon Brouchoud, aka Keystone Bouchard in Second Life, is an accomplished designer of virtual environments. Fortunately for others working in this medium, he recently built a space in Second Life showcasing fundamental design concepts called Virtual Architecture 101. The site itself also serves an example of a creative, well thought out use of space incorporating elements from the design field. 

But the lessons offered in the Virtual Architecture 101 area are relevant for designers regardless of whether they create digital buildings or brick and mortar structures.  Jon starts out the instruction with representations of fundamental design elements such as points, lines, color, texture, etc. Each display has a short explanation of the element with a related 3D example. The next areas describe the design process and design strategy. Throughout the space, Jon offers examples of design concepts and ideas.

Some who have not yet set foot in a digital space, might wonder why not study this information through a more traditional method. But the ability to actually walk into a space and feel and see the concept presented helps to make the learning more interactive and memorable. You can tell someone that elevating a floor impacts a feeling of space and increases prominence of an area, but you won't actually feel it unless you can actually walk onto a platform. This is what the virtual space offers - the ability to offer that experience during the learning process.

Studio Wikitecture - Crowd sourcing the architectural design process

Wikitecture Contest SubmittalRyan Schultz began to contemplate the application of crowd sourcing to architectural design after reading “Wisdom of Crowds,” by James Surowiecki and “Wikinomics” by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams. And when Schultz discovered Second Life (SL), a 3-D virtual world accessed through the Internet, he realized that the actual implementation of this open source approach to architecture could become a real possibility. About this same time, Schultz came across Jon Brouchoud, an architect from Wisconsin, who was using Second Life to prototype and exhibit his home designs for clients. The two began corresponding through e-mails and discussing the design of a meeting place for the architectural meetings that were held in SL.

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