About Studio Wikitecture

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

Our group has, over the last year, been using the virtual world Second Life as a collaborative platform for 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.

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.

These are the final boards we submitted for the competition.

Studio Wikitecture assumes the principles of good design are universal enough that they can be learned in one discipline and applied in some fashion to another. Through Studio Wikitecture, we are trying to provide a channel where these individuals can apply these skills to the design of a building. This does not negate the fact that a certain foundational knowledge is still necessary to design a building that will actually function and standup, but SW feels that this knowledge can be acquired through a number of channels and should not be restricted to just architects and their particular educational path.

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 would like to sponsor the next development phase of the 'Wiki-Tree':

Based on what we have learned from our 3rd project, we have developed a list of interface simplifications, features and most importantly, the ability to install the 3D Wiki on multiple sites throughout Second Life. In order to implement this phase of development, we are looking for sponsors who would be willing to provide much needed funding to carry this project forward.

Obviously the 'wiki-tree' can facilitate any type of collaborative project, not just architecture. If your company or organization is looking to engage your customers more in the ideation and development process of your product, we have found the 'wiki-tree' to be an invaluable tool to facilitate this process.

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 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.

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.

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