Thursday, March 12, 2009

UCreative - Second Life Island

UCA Campus (under construction)

Back in Summer of 2008, I was asked to build a Second Life presence for University of Creative Arts - (a specialist art uni, which is an amalgamation of five UK based colleges in Kent and Surrey ). As the campus was split across several towns, SL was being explored as a potential way of creating a virtual community of practice, where graduate and post-graduate students could get together.

UCreative SL Island

I was commissioned to create a basic low prim scaffolding for an interdisciplinary island of arts, and also create something that gave a imaginative flavor of what could be achieved in virtual worlds, rather than slavishly re-creating the realworld campus.
The build was designed to get people navigating and around a 3D space fast especially by flying, but a teleport system was also in place to get around quicker, or those still learning to control their avatar.

UCreative SL Island

The approach I went for, was to create a Giant Tree, where the foundations of its base, formed the main lecture theater spaces, as well as public areas of exhibition and marketing - a scuplture/art garden, a more traditional white cube gallery space, and a sandbox area, on the ground.

UCreative SL Island

Very simplified tree branches formed platforms, that would be given over to specific areas, eg. moving image, fashion, communication design, and also staff development. Finally high up above the clouds was a private sandbox area.
This use of height within a sim, was to make efficient use of the island, rather than everything flat on the ground.
Hopefully this system also keeps information/areas apart, but not completely compartmentalised. As it was a shared island, discpline areas could share space and resources - creating opportunities for students to work across courses.

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