Studio Wikitecture is an open group, composed of a diverse range of individuals from varying disciplines, interested in exploring the application of an open-source paradigm to the design and production of both real and virtual architecture and urban planning.

Using 3-D application servers such as Opensim, RealXtend, & Second Life, our group has, over the last 3 years, been conducting ‘Wikitecture’ projects to work out the exact procedures and protocols necessary to harness a group’s collective intelligence in designing architecture. In other words, in much the same way Wikipedia enables a loose, self-organizing network of contributors to collaborate on content creation, the Studio Wikitecture group has been using these projects to work out the manner by which a group of geographical disperse individuals can come together to share ideas, edit the contributions of others, and to vote on the success or failure of proposed design iterations.

To this end, for our third project we teamed up with the software designers, i3dnow, and developed a unique inworld interface and accompanying website. The ‘Wiki-Tree’ as we call it, acts as a version tracking system that works very much like a conventional Wiki, but instead of tracking text documents in a linear history as you see in Wikipedia, the ‘Wiki-Tree’ tracks versions of 3-dimensional models and saves them within a continually evolving 3-dimensional digital tree ‘canopy’. Along with version tracking of the various designs, the interface allows members to vote and leave comments around the evolving designs.  As this blog post outlines, The Wiki-Tree technology is open source and freely available to anyone who would like to use it.  Here’s a quick video, giving a broad overview of how the inworld ‘Wiki-Tree’ works.

The 3rd project, of which we were just awarded the overall ‘Founder’s Award’ and ‘3rd Place’ , was centered around a competition hosted by the Open Architecture Network. Since the Network’s mission is about open sourcing architecture for humanitarian purposes, we thought it would be a good opportunity to submit an entry for this competition, composed in the same collaborative and open fashion they are known for. The competition was to design a Tele-Medicine Facility for a community in Western Nepal.  This Video gives a quick timelapse of how the project evolved over time, along with the the final boards we submitted for the competition.

In May, 2009, Studio Wikitecture also won the inaugural $10,000USD Linden Prize for  “demonstrating how individuals and organizations are using Second Life to improve the overall human condition.”

For an 3-D immersive experience, the following link will take you inside Second Life, where you can see an exhibit of Studio Wikitecture’s past projects, as well as a limited demo of the Wiki Tree:

….and Studio Wikitecture in the news… for additional highlights.

If you would like to participate in the next Wikitecture project.:

We would be happy for you to join the next project. You don’t need any experience in architecture, engineering, or anything really, to participate. Although those skills are necessary for a robust design, we believe the more diverse the pool of contributors, the better. To receive notices of up and coming meetings, please join the ‘Studio Wikitecture’ group. Just search for ‘Studio Wikitecture’ under the group search in ‘Second Life’ and join. Or either send Keystone Bouchard or Theory Shaw an Instant Message in-world and we’ll send you an invitation.

If you can’t get into Second Life, we also have a Facebook Group which we send out news and notices as well.

If you have a project you would like Studio Wikitecture to work on:

Also, If you have a project you’d like to have designed and developed via this more open, Wikitecture way, please let us know. Having been part of the Studio Wikitecture group for some time, I am confident that the group has enough skill and experience, architectural, engineering and otherwise, to tackle any size project that we would have the good fortune to be offered. I’m sure Wikitecture projects will continue to demonstrate what can happen when a loose network of passionate individuals are given the tools to collaborate around an architectural project.

We can reached at the following emails:

Ryan Schultz (Theory Shaw in SL): (ryan.schultz [at] studiowikitecture [dot] com).

Jon Brouchoud (Keystone Bouchard in SL): (jon.brouchoud [at] studiowikitecture [dot] com).

Thank You.