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Can we win this thing?!? We’ve done it before, and we could do it again, but we need your help, and it isn’t too late to be sure your name is on the contributing team list!

We’re now in the final lap, and need to quickly pull together our final presentation – due on Saturday, April 17th!

If you haven’t had time to contribute yet, it isn’t too late! There are still lots of ways you can help out. If you don’t know how to use the Wiki Tree, not a problem! That part of the design process is behind us now, and we’ve set up some simplified ways to gather your input and ideas. We need your help now more than ever, so please don’t hesitate to roll up your sleeves and help us win this thing!

There are three primary efforts underway that we need your help with.

FIRST FOCUS AREA: CONCEPT GRAPHICS FOR PRESENTATION BOARD

First, we would like to invite you to contribute and vote on graphic layouts for our final poster board. We’re using Ideascale.com, which allows you to vote and contribute easily through their website. Here’s the link: http://studiowikitecture.ideascale.com/a/panel.do?id=4700

We will use this site to brainstorm the overall graphic concept and layout of the ‘Presentation Board’ portion of our entry. The concept we develop will then be used as a theme, or guideline for organizing the other required graphics. The ideascale can be someone flaky, so if you get stuck, try posting on our ning site for help.  Here’s what the competition organizers ask for, specifically:

“Presentation Board @ 24″x36″ Landscape format(REQUIRED) – The presentation board should clearly display the entrant’s approach. The organizers will use this image as the primary board to display in exhibitions, publications and in community meeting in the field. This board MUST be the first image to appear in the slideshow.”

I uploaded a sample concept that you should see on the Ideascale site (linked above) – called ‘Initial Concept Idea’. You should be able to vote for or against it (and any other ideas contributed)- even without logging in. If you care to submit a concept of your own, you’ll need to set up an account, then click ‘New Idea’. There, you will be able to name and describe your idea. After creating the idea, you can then upload an images or file of your design concept. Please upload your layered construction file as well (.psd, etc.) so other contributors can build from or modify your idea.

ALL ENTRIES MUST BE CONTRIBUTED BY THE END OF THE DAY, MONDAY, APRIL 12th!!!

Everyone will have until end of the day Tuesday, April 13th to cast their votes. With that, we hope to have a relatively clear sense of which conceptual approach is most popular, and will go about developing the final presentation board and other graphics with it.

SECOND FOCUS AREA: MODEL POLISHING AND PRODUCTION TASKS

Another area we need help with is in polishing the final model and completing some of the remaining tasks required to help complete the entry. The Wiki Tree has been disabled, and we now have the ‘final’ model sitting in its appropriate position on the site on the ‘2nd Live’ sim. On that model, you will see ‘hovertext’ throughout the model, indicating parts of the model that need work. Please feel free to take up any of those tasks and help make this model look great!

We also have a spreadsheet with most of the remaining work to be done itemized and available for volunteers to sign up and take responsibility for each area that needs to be done. You can access that spreadsheet here. http://spreadsheets0.google.com/ccc?key=tNAETzOPmdR66uC0rChpADw&hl=en

…and by all means, if you see a task that needs completing, please add it to the list. The document should be modifiable by anyone, with or without logging in.

THIRD FOCUS AREA: TEXT WRITING AND EDITING

Finally, we need text to help describe this project. We will probably need someone familiar with the project to boil down all of the main points, principles, observations, or big ideas we came up with along the way (reading the comments on the voting site and ning site will help with that).

However, once that has been boiled down, anyone with good writing skills can help refine and revise the text and polish it into final form.

If this is an area you would like to help with, please check out the document available here:

http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=ddqzdng9_263fc3w67h4 …again, accessible by anyone.

That’s it! Again – we need your help now more than ever, so please consider jumping in and helping out in any way possible – even if only casting votes on the various concept entries on Ideascale.

Please don’t hesitate to IM Keystone Bouchard, Theory Shaw or Omei Turnbull with any questions, or email info@studiowikitecture.com

It’s coming on 2 weeks since our first organizational meeting, and we’ve come a long way. Looking forward, we have 5 weeks before the deadline for submission to OAN. That seems like a good chunk of time, but things can be deceiving. Depending on who has the right skills and available time, we’ll probably need the final week or two just to transfer the final SL design into the RL files required by OAN. So we really only have three or so weeks left to come up with our consensus for the winning design.

I want to emphasize as much as I can that although our final design entry will be entered into a traditional design competition, the process within the Studio Wikitecture group is not structured primarily as a competition. The whole point of Studio Wikitecture is to discover and demonstrate how collaboration among a global cross-section of individuals (non-architects as well as architects) can combine their varied skills to produce a design that is superior to one done by one or two professional architects working in isolation.

What does this mean for the process? We certainly need people to submit their original ideas to the Wiki Tree, as many have and I hope more will. But just as important is for all the group members to consider those designs, discuss them, and then offer feedback, be it positive of negative. The quickest way to offer feedback is by voting. If you see a design that has something you like, click on its leaf in the Wiki tree to make it active (if it isn’t already) and then click on either of the thumbs-up prims near the top of the trunk. If you see a design you don’t like, click on the thumbs-down prim. Don’t wait; start doing that now. These votes are not expected to be your final opinion. As design refinement progresses, you’ll vote for or against other leaves. Each person only gets 3 positive and 3 negative active votes, so once you have reached 3, your oldest vote will get removed when you cast a new one.

Voting is quick, but by itself it can be ambiguous. When you vote for a design, you’re not saying that you think it is perfect for submission. What is it you like about it? Is it the grand concept? The sensitivity to the environment? The builder’s skills in presenting their ideas? Are there things you would like to see changed? Without augmenting your vote with comments, it is impossible for the submitter, or others, to know what aspects caused you to vote, and to take that into account in the next design iteration.

And then there is contributing by creating and submitting a design to the tree. Here, please don’t feel constrained to the submission of “original” work. If you have the building skills, the best way to give feedback on someone else’s design is to take a copy, modify it and submit it back to the tree. This is not plagiarism, it is an integral part of the collaborative design process. For some, this is a hard concept to get comfortable with. But think of how Wikipedia has come to be the greatest encyclopedia the world has ever seen. It would never have become what it is if individuals had each written their own version of an article, and then there was a judging to see which article would become the official one.

In summary, regardless of your particular skills, you can contribute right now. Please do. And don’t forget that we’ll be having a meeting on Monday at 1:00PM at 2nd Live for a synchronous discussion.

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If you’re in the Chicago area, next Tuesday, December 2nd, stop by the local Pecha Kucha event hosted at Martyr’s Pub where I’ll be presenting the projects and process the Studio Wikitecture group has been working on for the last couple years.  Including, of course, the group’s winning competition entry for the Open Architecture Challenge.  Now, I only have to figure out how to stuff all this into 20 slides at 20 second each!

Hope to see, you there.

courtyard

It is with great pleasure I bring you the news that Studio Wikitecture’s entry in the Open Architecture Network Challenge was awarded the ‘Founder’s Award’ as well as ‘3rd Place’ for our design of the Nyaya Tele-Medicine facility in Western Nepal. The announcement was made this morning.

Architecture for Humanity awarded its Founders Award to the third place Asia challenge finalist, Studio Wikitecture, for embracing a truly collaborative way of working using online crowdsourcing and Second Life as a way to create a highly participatory design approach. Source

I want to direct a big ‘congratulations’ to those individuals that contributed, on whatever level, to the ultimate success of this entry. Well done! In particular I would like to thank the following for their dedicated contributions.

Jon Brouchoud – (Keystone Bouchard in SL)

Roger Wellington-Oguri – (Omei Turnbull in SL)

Roberto Carretero – (Otrober Breda in SL)

Michael DiTullio – (Far Link in SL)

Simone Riccardi – (Turboy Runo in SL)

Ethos Erlanger in SL

Chip Poutine in SL

I would also like to thank the programming gurus at i3dnow for helping us develop the 3d-Wiki technology we used to help facilitate this whole process. With all the contributions made throughout the process, it would have been a virtual impossibility to build a consensus without it.

And finally a shout out to Kirsten Kiser from arcspace for generously donating a large part of her Second Life island to this project.

We’ve definitely come a long way since asking the question: Can the design and production of architecture learn anything from the open and decentralized methods of production demonstrated in projects such as Wikipedia and open-source software. We certainly learned a lot since the early days of Wikitecture 1.0 and 2.0. I have no doubt Wikitecture 4.0 will prove just as successful.

Thank You, Again.

Ryan Schultz

I just wanted to thank all the contributors on the OAN Nepal Challenge for all their hard work and dedication over the last couple months. The following images are of the final boards submitted to the OAN project site (larger images here). You can be your own judge, but I think they turned out great! What a far cry from Wikitecture 1.0. Looking forward to Wikitecture 4.0, whatever project that may be.

I also wanted to thank everyone for their patience and persistence in working through a very rough and rudimentary technology. Although the ‘Wiki-Tree’ and website have a long way to go to improve upon their usability, the final project is a major testament to the potential of what can result from a more open source approach to architecture.

It goes without saying we learned a lot from this last experiment and are excited to further refine the Wikitecture technology to allow for more seamless collaboration on future projects. In this regard, if you have a project you’d like to have designed and developed via this more open, Wikitecture way, please let us know. (ryan [dot] schultz [at] studiowikitecture [dot] com). Having been part of the Studio Wikitecture group for some time, I am confident that the group has enough skill and experience, architectural and otherwise, to tackle any size project that we would have the good fortune to be offered. I’m sure Wikitecture 4.0 will continue to demonstrate what can happen when a loose network of passionate individuals are given the tools to collaborate around an architectural project.

Thank you.

Thanks to all that have been so patient over the last couple weeks while we worked out some of the major kinks.

studio-wikitecture-web-site-introregistration3.jpg

Can mass collaboration and collective intelligence improve the quality of architecture and urban planning?

We are happy to announce that, Studio Wikitecture will continue to try to tease out this question, via it’s 3rd Wikitecture experiment kicking off officially on Nov. 7th. To accommodate those in different time zones, there will be two different times: Wednesday, Nov. 7th @ 9:00am and 6:30pm PST/SLT.

(post Nov. 7th: Here’s a link to the transcript of that of kick-off meeting. It goes into a more extensive step by step on how to operate the in-world interface: http://studiowikitecture.wikidot.com/kickoffmeeting)

The project on which this experiment will center around will be the competition recently announced by the Open Architecture Network. Competition sites range from a medical facility in rural Nepal, a media lab and library in the slums of Nairobi, or a fair trade chocolate factory in Ecuadorian Amazon.

Since the OAN is an “open-source community dedicated to improving living conditions through innovative and sustainable design”, we thought it would be a perfect opportunity to submit an entry for this competition that is, in turn, designed and composed in the same collaborative and open-source fashion.

We would be happy for you to join the next experiment and help us design this collaborative competition entry. You don’t need any experience in architecture, engineering or construction to participate. We actually believe the more diverse the pool of contributors, the better. You will need, if you don’t already, a Second Life account. Registering is easy.

Once you have downloaded the Second Life application, registered an account and log in, press the ‘search’ key on the bottom of your screen (it looks like this: ). Look for the group ‘Studio Wikitecture’ and click ‘join.’ Enrollment is open to all.

After you have joined, click the following link for a ‘teleport’ to the Wikitecture 3.0 Parcel (link), which was generously donated by arcspace.com. Once there, ‘touch’ the base of the ‘wiki-tree’ interface, which looks like the following:…

wiki-tree-trunk-low-res.jpg

to get the password for the website.

For the login: use your full ‘Second Life’ name.

If you have an problems, don’t hesitate to IM either Keystone Bouchard or Theory Shaw in-world and we’ll come by and help you.

A Brief Overview of the evolving technology behind Wikitecture 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0

We are not only excited about the project, but the new website and in-world interface (not operational, until nov. 7th) that will allow everyone to better communicate and collaborate with each other over the duration of the project’s two month time frame. Along with the following description, this video, provides a nice overview of the technology behind Wikitecture 3.0 as well.

Over the last year, we have been using the virtual world of Second Life as a platform for conducting ‘Wikitecture’ experiments to work out the procedures and protocols necessary to harness a group’s collective intelligence in designing architecture. We have already conducted 2 experiments within Second Life to explore this idea of ‘open source architecture’. The videos of their final form can be found here: 1.0 & 2.0. The following gives a brief overview of the evolving functionality behind Wikitecture 1.0, 2.0, & 3.0.

1.0

Wikitecture 1.0 was not really a true Wiki in the sense that contributors could not modify or delete the contributions of others. What resulted, although interesting in its own right, was an amalgamation of ‘stuff’ with not no overall coherency or unity – a result we expected.

2.0

In the 2nd experiment, we asked contributing members to enable full-permissions on every object they added. This new protocol enabled designers to add/modify/delete each other’s designs. In addition, we set up a Flickr Account that allowed contributors to upload descriptive snapshots of their designs and leave feedback as well. With Wikitecture 2.0, we also introduced an archiving system, where members, through community consensus, were able to roll-back the ‘live’ design to previously saved iterations. Although this system was still rudimentary, the resultant design was far more unified and coherent than Wikitecture 1.0.

3.0

For our 3rd experiment, however, we have continued to try and improve upon this underlying technology. In teaming up with i3D inc., experts in creating virtual applications that cross the 2D/3D divide, we have developed both an in-world interface (‘wiki-tree’) and external website that continually communicate with each other. From the in-world perspective, contributors are able to archive their particular design into an abstract ‘leaf’ within a 3-dimensional ‘tree canopy’. As this canopy grows, the branching network of ‘leaves’ communicates to other designers, how related all the different designs are to each other.

leaf canopyimage of the ‘leaf canopy’. Although not always the case, the general rule will typically apply: one ‘archive leaf’ = one design iteration = one contributor.

In addition, to fully communicate their vision and rationale behind their designs, this interface will allow contributors to take snapshots of their designs and, combined with descriptive commentary, upload them to the external website.

Since there will be multiple designs iterations within the ‘tree canopy’ and only a limited amount of land, the ‘wiki-tree’ interface, by touching the leaves, will allow members to ‘rez’ out the designs, one by one, onto the viewing parcel. Once rezzed out, viewers are then able to immerse themselves, 3-dimensional, in the design. In addition, to augment the experience of actually occupying the space, the three screens in the viewing kiosk near the ‘wiki-tree’ will allow users to cycle through the snapshots and comments associated with the active design on the viewing parcel as well. This viewing kiosk will become especially helpful for those who want to communicate their designs informally with a smaller group of individuals.

The ‘wiki-tree’ allows the community, in turn, to vote and comment on their fellow contributor’s designs.

Other than cycling and rezzing out the individual designs from the ‘archiving leaves’, The website component will allow users all the same functionality as the in-world interface. In other words, through the website, members can vote and add comments, as well as upload images they would like to associate with their saved designs.

What if this collaboratively designed entry actually wins this OAN competition? How will the reward money actually be divvied up amongst the contributors? If you worked on the last Wikitecture experiment, we will be using the same system whereby we ask all the contributors to assess what percentage they feel they have contributed to the design as well as what percentage they feel others have contributed. The general idea being, that when everyone’s assessment of each other is averaged out, however subjective it may be, a pretty fair judgment is made to how much (compensation, ownership, IP rights, etc) should be dolled out to each contributor. If, in the event, Studio Wikitecture’s entry wins the competition, we will distribute the winnings in this manner.

Although this system of assessment is not perfect, we feel it’s a start. This is one component of the experiment we feel will need to be massaged here and there as we go forward and would love your input to help improve it. Throughout the next two months of designing and assessing, if you have an idea on how to improve either this contribution assessment procedure, or any other functionality for that matter, please let us know. We have set up a forum for such discussion: Feedback & F.A.Q.

Although, this collaborative platform is light years beyond what was used for the 2nd experiment, please be aware that it’s still somewhere between alpha and the prepubescence beta stage of development—we will most likely encounter our fair share of bugs.

Although running at a base level right now, certain features will not be available until Nov. 7th.

image of the ‘trunk’ of the ‘wiki-tree’ interface.

There’s still plenty of time to join the team! You don’t need any architectural experience, just a willingness to collaborate, learn and help people in the world who need it most.

You can find a transcript of our first Wikitecture 3.0 project discussion HERE.

During Tuesday’s 9am meeting (the time of which was determined by group vote), the community decided to enter a brief R&D phase, and will be spending the next week gathering information about each of the 3 challenges to determine which we will pursue. We are also trying to find potential collaborators in SL or in RL with expertise, or may have lived or currently live near any of these real-life regions to join the team. Perhaps there are nearby universities in these regions we could collaborate with? Are there any unique features of these challenges that lend themselves more or less to a Wikitecture or Second Life build? Scale? Materials? Site?
We’re seeking answers to these questions, and will paste our findings in the new Wikitecture Wiki HERE. If you have any ideas or thoughts on this project, feel free to post them on the wiki!

KK Jewell of arcspace has offered to allow the experiment to be built on the new arcspace island! This is a very generous offer, and we are very grateful! Thanks KK!

Stay tuned for info, date and time for our next gathering, and IM Keystone Bouchard or Theory Shaw in Second Life if you have any questions, or wish to join the team!

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After tallying the results, the consensus for the best time to meet is: Tuesday, September 25th @ 9:00am PST/SLT. Here is the slurl link to the ‘Studio Wikitecture’ parcel in Second Life.

Although kick-off is not until Oct. 15th, we wanted to hold an early meeting to get a gauge who would like to participate as well as share some improved features projected for the new website and inworld voting/commenting system. In addition, we would like to hear your thoughts on which of the three ‘Open Architecture Network’ challenges we should pursue.

We are excited that the project the 3rd Wikitecture experiment will center around will be the competition recently announced by the ‘Open Architecture Network’. The ‘AMD Open Architecture Challenge’ is an open, international design competition. Its aim is to develop solutions for building sustainable, multi-purpose, low-cost technology facilities for those who need them most.

They have three challenges on which to choose from—a project based in South American, Africa, or Asia. We would like for the next meeting to get your opinion on which of the three we should pursue as a collaborative entry. The following are links to the specific competition briefs.

the South America Challenge
the Africa Challenge
the Asia Challenge
general information about the OAN Challenge

Since the OAN is an “open-source community dedicated to improving living conditions through innovative and sustainable design”, we thought it would be a perfect opportunity to submit an entry for the competition that is, in turn, designed and composed in the same collaborative and open-source fashion OAN is known for.

See you there.

What is ‘Studio Wikitecture’ Group in Second Life………………………………………………….

Studio Wikitecture is a ‘Second Life’ group composed of a diverse spectrum of individuals interested in exploring the potential of applying an Open Source paradigm to the design and production of both real and virtual architecture and urban planning.

What we’ve been doing………………………………………………………………

We have over the last 10 months been conducting Wikitecture experiments within Second Life to tease out the exact procedures and protocols one would need within a Metaverse to harness and aggregate a group’s collective intelligence in creating an architecturally noteworthy design.

Please go to this Flickr site to see the evolving snap shots from our last experiment…

Here’s a link to the program and protocol for this experiment as well…

In addition, here are some excerpts from a Manifesto written by Dennis Kaspori that outlines some of the salient points around an open-source approach to architecture.