Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Al Gets Cultured by DEsign

Now here's a thing. I have been to this sim, Culturegion, on several occasions in the last 6 months or so, yet I have never actually written about it. I'm not entirely sure why. Perhaps because the "sense of it" has always eluded me. However, I think it's time to put that right.

The island is a labour of love, owned and built by Helfe Ihnen, whose avowed aim is to "help to put intelligent culture into SL." He describes his role as: "curator of DEsign Island in Culturegion. I try to make this a place for culture, intelligent art, experimental architecture, visions and more... Artists, Architects, Designers, Authors and other creative people are welcome." The island features the work of a frequently changing group of artists and architects, and has itself been evolving over time to better accommodate their needs. News of forthcoming attractions, in both German and English, can be found at the DEsign Island website.

At the moment there seems to be 3 major exhbitions:

  • "Spatial City" an experimental architecture by Yona Friedman
  • University of The Arts, Berlin - Student Show (in the art space)
  • the sound installations of Pong Blumenthal
Here's a selection of pictures so you can get the feel of the place. First up, a couple of scene-setters - a map of the island, and a view from one of the corners.

Then the art space, where the students' show is housed:

And the "Spatial City":

The intention of the Spatial City is that people will inhabit it, build their own apartments, and watch the structure evolve and grow. I can't claim to have a clue what this will entail - but if you are interested, then pop along and pick up the notecard. As Helfe notes, when talking about build ing the Spatial City: "I dont want to make a profit with this project, but if you can please donate. This SIM is run by a private person /one man company."

Anyway, it looks like 1st September is when this really kicks off. Oh, and you could also join the Design Island Info group in Second Life.

As for the island... it actually has the feel of a personal obsession. Much of the layout feels to me to be "unconnected" and haphazard, yet everything is where Helfe wants it to be. Perhaps I think this is because it is not so different, in my eyes, from New Alville. At the risk of being taken to task, the build looks "Germanic." A number of German sims in SL use stark white shapes without contrast; examples include: Toca Me; BMW; Phase 4 and Wirecard. I find the lack of depth defeats the point of using a 3D environment - and the virtual snow blindness is no fun either! But these are minor quibbles. I think it is a bold endeavour, and I wish Helfe luck. Who knows? I might end up there myself.

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