I read an interesting article today at work about this architecture firm called Wikitecture that is based entirely in Second Life. As much as i hate SL and really almost anything to do with it, the concept of the firm is kind of interesting. Using SL as an interface, the principals, Ryan Schultz and Jon Brouchoud, manage a collaborative effort where they allow a bunch of people to collaborate to design a specific building. The collaborators are from all walks of life, both architects and non-architects, people directly associated with the context, or people completely unassociated and simply interested.

The most interesting thing I find however is that the collaborators aren't paid. It appears like the only thing this program can do is conceptual design through a SketchUp style interface. What would happen if a simplified version of Revit or some other Bim program was used. The only thing the principals would have to do is make judgement calls on designs presented through the voting process. All the drawings, renders, and construction documents could be created by unpaid labor in a computer game. It is a well known fact that many people in the world look back and regret not becoming an architect or would have wanted to be an architect. Through Second Life, these people could collaborate on a project that is finally built, and the principals that get credit hardly have to lift a finger. The ultimate Lazy Architecture (though it would be advertised to the public as "socially concious" or "open")

Studio Wikitecture

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