Master builder DB Bailey


The architect, artist and builder DB Bailey has quickly become one of my faves in SL, along with talents like AM Radio and Strawberry Holiday. Building of his like «More Windows» (above), «The Hideout», and «The Lotus» are easily among the most fantastic sights you can stumble across in Second Life.

Then what happens? Second Life News Network asks me to do a story on him. Okay, so I put on my most serious journalist appearance, hoping I’ll avoid to seem like a drooling groupie, and off I go to his studios at Blinker Hall. ”It’s really a place for experimenting, not a gallery,” he says as I arrive.

Bailey is a First Life architect (lookee here for his home page). As he was diagnosed three years ago with an early onset of Parkinson’s disease, he knows he will have to scale back and take a different approach to designing in the future. And that’s why he’s investing his future in the virtual world.

”There’s so much positive to be said about the virtual world and its potential for improving the real life environment. I’m particularly interested in simulated shopping environments. Enough with the malls! All of this is of course going to mean the need for fewer buildings and thus less work for architects. But I say fellow architects, wake up and smell the Metaverse, somebody has to design it and it sure needs some architects, not to mention city planners. Flying over Second Life looks like Los Angeles at its worst.”


Above: «The Hideout».

He built his first project in SL eight months ago – an exhibition for his elderly mother’s paintings for her birthday. She’s now become a regular in SL. “That cute lass in the purple sweater is my mother, so don’t hit on her,” Bailey laughs, and says she enjoys going to art openings in SL.

Bailey describes his first buildings as attempts to re-create FL in SL. “Then I thought no, this is not taking advantage of this unique potential. So I started exploring what I could do if I ignored things like gravity.”

These days, he’s trying to do art and architecture outside of the familiar way. “SL is unbelievably liberating for an architect. Does architecture continue to exist when you have no gravity, no structural needs, no weather, no budget, no lawsuits, et cetera? Does art continue to exist as we know it when there are so few physical bounds, material limitations, no real value with unlimited copies, and no such thing as an original? We have to find a new form of architecture and art that’s unique to Second Life.”


Above: «The Upstairs».

Bailey continues: “How come we put roofs on the buildings and columns to hold them up? Because we are not yet ready for the big jump over to the other side. In Second Life, architecture doesn’t need to be anymore than visually pleasing space definition. We have to get beyond it just being a place where we build dollhouses to act out our unrealised aspirations. Value in the virtual world will only come about when we can create things that can only be experienced in there. But this is an exciting time in SL, because of all the experiments that are going on.”

Lookee here for the interview I did with him for SLNN.

PS: DB Bailey says he’s been so busy building that his in-world network isn’t very large. “I wish more people would drop in and see me. I would really like to collaborate with someone, but no-one has taken me up on it yet. Really, I’m easy to work with.”


~ by theresecarfagno on December 23, 2007.

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