Saint-Gobain presents first showroom in Second Life

Sustainable development and technological innovation are, for Saint-Gobain, powerful handles for improving its operations and its results. For several years, the company initiated a pro-active policy in this area. The establishment of Saint-Gobain Glass in the virtual world of Second Life, orchestrated by experts of Stonfield InWorld, is a new step to encourage exchanges between scholars and performers of glazing residents with high environmental sensitivity.

A strong agreement to the protection of the environment in Second Life

The new showroom of St. Gobain in Second Life

The new showroom of St. Gobain in Second Life

To initiate a constructive discussion on the role of glazing in environmental protection and energy saving, Saint-Gobain Glass organizes conferences and debates between marketing and development and residents whose sensitivity and Culture Sustainable development is high. This is to present innovative solutions developed by Saint-Gobain Glass to build the ecological house of the future and talk with residents. Continue reading

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How architects could use Second Life to create new architecture

Xanadu Here I would like to introduce XaNaDu Watkin, an architect of the newest generation and the one who build the incredible building of the Bibliotheque Francophone in Second Life. As an architecture student in real life in Paris, France, he will graduate this year. In short, the thesis that he wrote for graduation, is about the question how architects can use Second Life for creating and designing a new way to build.

But that is not all that is new. The other reason that we talk is, that on 19th March, XaNaDu has held his lecture in the Bibliotheque Francophone, both wit voice and stream. A very innovative way to inform people and possible the new way of sharing information.

XaNaDu Watkin: Architects work with autocad and other programs, all design work is done on computer now. You have a modelisation, but with the same program you can draw plans, move or create walls, doors … And work in real life is a switch between 2D and 3D modelisation. There is a big difference between real life architects working on 3D modelisations and Second Life works. In real life we are using 3D-programs to imagine the reality. But in Second Life we work directly into 3D. The design in real life is only a “document” you cannot visit it or interact with it, only the architect who is working on it, can. But in Second Life it’s different. Here a slide of a Zaha Hadid project.

Dia2 There are some famous architects who affirm that it is the program who really creates the project. Architect imagine, but programs can do a lot of work by itself.

MD: Still, the execution of the modellisation is human, isn’t it?

XaNaDu Watkin: That is true, but not always :p
Here I ‘m talking about virtual architects. Markos Novak is an architect who is skilled in virtual architecture. In real life he doesn’t build, but He has made a lot of researchs. He also has not build in Second Life yet, but only in other 3D-programs. His work is very interesting.
But as you have noticed, nobody can visit or use his architecture. And that is the problem.

MD: Markus Novak, who is he?
XaNaDu Watkin: People like Markus Novak create new theories about architecture but this architecture has no existence. It’s more than art, because his work is not only a picture, but the only thing for us that we can see is a picture.

Dia4 Markos Novak designed an organic building, without concrete nor wood. He called it echinoderme, sea star. And this sort of architecture could be build in places like Second Life. It is the kind of thing that I would wish to build in the future. Not that I want to copy his work, but he sure is a source of my inspiration, and he was the first architect skilled on virtuality who I have met.

Another innovative architect is Kas Oosterhuis, from the Netherlands. Oosterhuis works about links between people and the building, and moreover: he imagines an evolutive and living architecture. He considers a building like an entity who can do more, or breathe, something very living. I like this architect, as it was the first who surprised me on his reflexions and his work. In French schools we have a problem I think, as a lot of teachers give a great consideration about the work by Le Corbusier. But damn It so old, he’s dead! We must give the place to other architectural orders. And Rem Koolhaas -also Dutch- has given a new order.

Conference2 MD: What is the role of Second Life in the future of architecture?
XaNaDu Watkin: Second Life architecture could interact too on our world, as it ‘s a great program to diffuse and peer architecture visions.
MD: Yes it can, as long as it can be done technically…
XaNaDu Watkin: With domotic links you could interact on your own place directly on Second Life. Domotique is a science about home AI, Artificial Intelligence. For example the nabaztag, do you know it?
A nabaztag is a little object who can search informations on the web and can give some too, throught internet. For example: You are at your desk, but not online. The nabaztag can have a program on Second Life, that detects if somebody enters your shop. The nabaztag will speak to you or in a way inform you about who is waiting for you in your shop in Second Life.
Rfid MD: And this is really working? or in beta stage?
XaNaDu Watkin: This link already exist, you can buy a virtual Second Life nabaztag that makes the link between Second Life and real life.
MD: So if this is reallity now, what will be next?
XaNaDu Watkin: Maybe tomorow “domotic” could create a specific atmosphere in your room, like change the color of the light to create a “extended reality”. A “domotic” can read RFID. RFID are these little metal processors which are hidden in objects so that they won’t be stolen. Like in books, shoes… etcetera.
RFID processors can do much more tah be used as an alarm. They can inform about your shopping, for example. When you buy a book with an RFID, it informs the company that you have bought it.
And a nabaztag is using this link in the other way. You can buy some specifics books with RFID and when the nabaztag detect it. It could make a device reading the book, for a child for example. And these links could exist in Second Life too! Why not?

XaNaDu Watkin: Do you know Louis Khan? He has said: “If you can think it, you can build it.”

Markos Novak: http://www.artstechsymposium.utah.edu/novak.html
Kas Oosterhuis: http://www.oosterhuis.nl/quickstart/index.php