A Study in Reflexive Architecture
by Jon Brouchoud (a.k.a. Keystone Bouchard)
1 December 2008
Phoenix Scratch in SL Commission #3 (in SL only)
In physical reality, architecture is a static and relatively motionless artefact. The occupant plays a passive role, observing but rarely impacting its composition. Winston Churchill’s statement, 'We shape our buildings and afterwards, our buildings shape us' illustrates this point well. In a virtual environment, the architecture is capable of transcending the limitations of static buildings, and can become as fluid and dynamic as the communities of people it hopes to serve. Reflexive Architecture offers an opportunity for a new language of virtual architecture to emerge, free from the habit of pure physical replication.
In accordance with Jon's concept of wikitecture, avatars were free to visit the construction site in advance of the opening and contribute their ideas to the melting pot. On 1 December 2008, Jon led a workshop on reflexive architecture, after which the commissioned work was officially opened.
Jon’s work as an evangelist for virtual architecture has focused on the convergence of architecture, virtual worlds and augmented reality. He has collaborated on a wide range of virtual reality projects including the U.S. House of Representatives and Linden Lab Headquarters. He is author of The Arch blog, founder of Architecture Islands and leader of the Architecture in Second Life community group.
The Arts Council England funded Phoenix Scratch initiative, based at Exeter Phoenix arts & media tests ('scratches') new ideas in front of a mixed audience of artists and non-artists. It's about taking risks, opening up process, and dialogue. After two years of working in the Exeter Phoenix auditorium, Phoenix Scratch relocated to Second Life, in order to offer a new challenge to artists, audiences and curators to extend their practices beyond the Real.
» The Arch
» Jon's flickr gallery of the build, the workshop and the opening
» Jon's machinima of the build in progress
» a 'show and tell' session on Orange Island
» Jon's October 2008 'metanomics' interview
» 'Travels With Chip - A Journey Through Second Life' entry
» Jon's 1 December entry from 'The Arch'
» 'not possible in real life' entry
» Dusan Writer's 'metaverse' entry
» Michele Hyacinth's weblog entry