Sunday, January 10, 2010

David Denton, Cetus, Second Life/Virtual Worlds Architect Designer

Note; the links I provide in the presentation are Second Life slurls. The slurls will take your avatar directly to the site in Second Life. You can get an account and avatar for Second Life by visiting their website here:

In many ways Second Life is the virtual "warehouse" of art and art work by illustrators, designers, musicians, writers, and digital artists. It provides for the delivery of a variety of artistic expressions of images, music, and interactive experiences never before imagined. One of my favorite is that of Cetus. Cetus is the creative expression of digital art in Second Life created by David Denton.

According to David's website, he is an architect and Virtual Worlds Architect, as illustrated below his work is fantastic. The photos present Cetus, the Cairo Project, an exhibit hall at Stanford and University of New Mexico. What makes his work most remarkable is his use of light, color and transparent textures, this ultimately makes his use of prims much less than you would anticipate.


Cetus is an example of what builds and sites in virtual worlds should be...a stretch of the creative potential of virtual worlds and designs to do something different, to create an interactive immersive experience.


While I was visiting Cetus, for about the fourth or fifth in fact I ran into David or that is his avatar, DB Bailey. I complimented him on his work at Cetus and he asked me if I had seen the Cairo Project. Because I had not he took me on a tour. According to David/DB the Cairo project is collaboration between the University of Southern California and Cairo University. This incredible project will allow students from these two different cultures to learn about each other, their countries and to collaborate together. In fact this project itself is symbolic of the success that can occur when teams can work together to create a build in Second Life that can be replicated in real life. The build in Second Life can allow the architects to design and experience how the site will actually "work," in the real world and to easily make changes as necessary before the site is actually built. This is an efficient way of designing and building.

The photo below is the actual screen that will be used to stream videos in world at the Cairo Project. Note the reflections in the floor a well.

Pictures of the real world application of a collaborative project between David Denton and architects in Cairo:

David also demonstrated how an artist from Egypt uses Second Life to display his artwork. This particular artist designs clay tiles in Egypt, they were used here as decorative elements for building:

Here is another example of this artist's work:

David has also done design work for universities throughout the world and he offered to show me some of the work he has done. This includes the Stanford Library exhibit hall in Second Life:

The build at Stanford seems to be floating, if you visit and look up this is what you will see. It is an amazing feeling of airiness and floating...yet you do feel that you are in a structure.

Finally David's design at the University of New Mexico is an artistic representation of cultures native to this state. However it is much more than that ..a digital representation of live in the State of New Mexico. There is a hot air balloon tour which allows you to get a good view of the site.

It is remarkable. The colors are rich, the graphical representation of the desert mountains surrounding the are realistic. This site is a feast for the eyes, set you environmental settings to sunset to fully enjoy this experience.

This site provides students and faculty with unique meeting spots to enjoy discussions or classroom activities:

More photos from the beautiful University of New Mexico site:

These sites and the work of David Denton illustrate the truly remarkable potential of virtual worlds in providing rich artistic, collaboration, and learning experiences in the 3D/virtual world environments. Not only that it provides us with the means to tap into the potential of collaboration and communication. It was an exciting opportunity for me to meet and discuss with David Denton his work in Second Life!

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