Elrik Merlin's Blog

We're very pleased to announce that Designing Worlds was awarded the Residents' Choice in the category "Favourite SL TV Show" at the Avi Choice Awards last night, December 15.

We were up against some stiff competition - including Treet stablemates the Giant Snail Races and Happy Hunting.

Many thanks to everyone who voted for us.

Saffia and I were also privileged to be asked to announce several of the awards this year, as part of an enormous and star-studded show that also helps to raise money for Relay For Life.

Congratulations from both of us to all the winners and runners up - so many people, groups and organisations who make Second Life such a great place to be.

gracer's picture


Three cheers to Designing Worlds for winning your award. Here's to you and all the Treet TV shows working hard to entertain and inform us.

Join us at our fantastic studios on Garden of Dreams: (http://slurl.com/secondlife/Garden%20of%20dreams/65/223/24)
at 2pm Pacific (22:00 in the UK) to see Designing Worlds' second foray into the wonderful worlds of the Home & Garden Expo 2012.
Cain Maven's Mesh VillaCain Maven's Mesh Villa

We'll be visiting the exhibits of a wealth of extremely talented people, and alongside some of the top builders and interior/exterior designers (including an elegant villa entirely mesh-built by Cain Maven and the animation-laden kitchens of {WhatNext}) we'll be meeting the AI doggies of the Virtual Kennel Club and seeing an exquisitely catpunk exhibit from KittyCatS. We'll meet one of the minds behind the Builders' Brewery and we'll chat about the implications of mesh and the petite furniture market - and much more in this extended edition.

If you can't join us in person in the studio, then catch the show on the live stream at http://treet.tv/live/ where you can not only watch the programme: you can also chat to other members of the audience (and often some of the participants).

Then soon after it's gone out you can watch it here on the Designing Worlds page at Treet.tv: http://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds

The latest edition of Designing Worlds (episode 73) was extraordinarily fact-filled, in my view. Of course, we always have quite a lot of information in our programmes, but our guests from Bristol University had a great deal to share with us about the Pompeii Court at the Sydenham Crystal Palace and their re-creation of it in Second Life. Do have a look at the show.

Gwendoline Beningborough and Lucien Krenfel have done a wonderful job here. The Crystal Palace was originally designed by Sir Joseph Paxton for the Hyde Park London, Great Exhibition of 1851. After the event, it was moved to Sydenham in South London, to the hilltop site of Penge Palace, overlooking London and re-opened in 1854.

Virtually everything in the reconstructed Palace was a fake - a re-creation, most of all the Fine Arts Courts which reconstructed aspects of life in faraway historical civilisations: Ancient Egypt, Greece and Mediæval England to name but three. Each court featured buildings and art from the region or period, reconstructed to the best of knowledge at the time.

Such it was with the Pompeii Court, which relied on excavations in Pompeii that had been going on for over a century. What the Victorians were creating was their own version of an "immersive environment". The so-called House of the Tragic Poet, recreated here, was the setting for Bulwer-Lytton's 1834 novel, The Last Days of Pompeii, and that became another reason for the crowds to flock to the Palace exhibit.

So, what happens when you re-create a recreation? In 1854, Londoners and those from further afield were exposed to the culture and art of an ancient Roman city, including that civilisation's open attitude to nudity, for example. Reviews of the time varied from appreciation to disgust. Now we come to the recreation, in our own virtual world, of this 19th-Century immersive environment and we bring a culture clash of our own. How do we see the Victorians seeing the Romans? Watch the show and find out - and do be sure to visit the site yourself. Read more at the web site: http://sydenhamcrystalpalace.wordpress.com/

This week on Designing Worlds we visit the regions of Al Andalus and in particular the Alhambra, home to some of the most beautiful recreations of historic real-life buildings you'll find in Second Life. In addition we talk to Rose Springvale and Jamie Palisades about how the political system in the Confederation of Democratic Sims operates. The programme represents a great introduction to the region and what goes on there. Click here to view the show.

On our tour of just a few of the sights, we visit the ancient "Red Fortress" from which the Alhambra gets its name, the Great Mosque, modelled on that in Córdoba, the Court of the Lions and the Partal Palace.

The name "Al Andalus" is Arabic and was the name for Moorish mediæval Spain. The period was marked by a remarkable confluence of cultures, in which Muslims, Christians and Jews lived in harmony.

Today in real life, many of the buildings are in ruins or have been repurposed by subsequent events and political changes. In Al Andalus in Second Life, however, you can see them in all their original glory.

In addition to interviewing Rose and Jamie (Vice-Chancellor and Chancellor respectively) about the region and how the CDS works, there's a slide show with some beautiful images from our photographer PJ Trenton.

Today on Designing Worlds we're visiting the four sims of Al Andalus in Second Life, and take a tour of some of the quite remarkable World Heritage sites recreated there, including the castle and palaces of the Alhambra. We'll also discover a little about the philosophy behind these SL regions.

The show begins at 2pm SLT (22:00 GMT) and you can watch live either in our studio at Northpoint, or here at the Treet.TV site - just click the "Watch LIVE" button.

If you like a particular Designing Worlds show, and you have a blog or web site, did you know that you can embed the show in your own page so your visitors can see it? Well, now you can - and we'll link back to you!

Simply bring up the show episode you're interested in and right-click on the player window. You'll see a set of options, one of which is to copy the embedding code. You can then paste that into your own page or blog entry.

If you embed our show on your page, as soon as someone watches it, it'll start to appear on our "Sightings" page, with a link back to your site, as a "thank you" for helping to promote the show. The most recent "sightings" appear on the Designing Worlds show page too, in the "Recently Seen At..." panel on the right of the page.

The same principle applies to any of your favourite Treet shows.

Some platforms don't let you embed video directly on their sites. If you run into this, you should be able to use a tool like VodPod.

In our latest show we visited Virtual Africa with Alanagh Recreant of Uthango. Alanagh gave us a very spirited tour of several of the main areas in the four-sim region and we all learned a great deal. I would encourage viewers to visit Virtual Africa themselves - there is a lot more there than we had time to show.

What we did cover, though, included some fascinating projects. In the first part of the show we heard about a fascinating projects to bring bicycles to a school. We went on to visit a recreation of a township (basically, a shanty-town) which is not yet open to the public and talked about Cape Town-based Uthango's development projects; and finally we visited a wildlife area where you can adopt a Meerkat. The show ended with us attempting to take a balloon ride - but we were so busy talking we nearly missed it! Alanagh was a wonderful host and was a fount of information.

We came away extremely impressed by Virtual Africa and also by Uthango's work in Africa in real life. Many, many thanks to Alanagh for showing and telling us so much.

This time we have a particularly visual show for you, that will surely pique the interest of anyone with an eye for architecture and design, in-world or out, as we visit Second Life's Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum, in the region of Usonia.

Frank Lloyd Wright is widely regarded as the leading American architect of the 20th century, with a career spanning over half of it. His earliest work dates back to the early 1900s, while his last design, the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, was built in 1959.

At the Museum we get an overview of the man's colourful life; we take an in-depth look at his interior design by focusing on one particular house; and in the final part of the programme we visit some of the FLWVM's extensive realisations of Wright's buildings in the Museum grounds. And in doing so, we gain an understanding of the influences, inspiration and work of a great artist.

In addition to the specific rooms and buildings we visited, there's an impressive collection of images taken by star photographer P J Trenton to give you a more complete overview of the Museum and its grounds.

We're helped in this venture by FLWVM's CEO Frey Bravin, Assistant Director Rosalie Oldrich, and Education Director Barbara Collazo, and although viewers of the live show will be aware that we had some rather annoying technical difficulties on this occasion, our talented friends at Treet have delivered our usual polished presentation thanks to a bit of extra work in the edit suite (thanks, guys!).

We're sure that, having seen the show, you'll want to visit yourself.

JeanPetre's picture


I enjoyed the video show featuring the Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum. I am aquainted with Frey and Rosalie and am a regular visitor to Usonia. As it would happen I am also involved with another project that may be of interest to you all at Designing Worlds. The Andrew Wyeth Memorial Park, located in Triemont has been months in the making. The Grand Opening was held on February 5th and it was a huge success! Wyeth was a renowned American artist, he lived from July 1917 to January 2009. His most famous painting was "Christina's World" which he painted in 1948. The park features Olson House which was made famous by Wyeth over his career as he featured it in over 300 of his paintings, including Christina's World. There is also the Chadds Ford house which displays many of Wyeth's paintings. Located in both houses are 3D virtual representations of Wyeths art where the visitor can view the art in the structure of the constructs, or actually place themself in the art. In addition to Andrew Wyeth, there is the Artist Park located on the sim. Twelve of SL's premier artists are on display here in a fantastical enviroment which when viewed from above reveals itself to be a great clock covering one quarter of the sim. Please come and visit The Andrew Wyeth Memorial Park, on Triemont!