Tag Archives: second life

Learning and Sharing in the Time of Corona

In these tough days of Covid-19, social distancing and isolation we can also look for the light of opportunity to share and to learn. We are hearing it is possible that physical, face to face events will not be happening for months, until the UK is clear enough for travel for home events, and until the EU is clear for EU events.

Not surprisingly then, we are seeing many events, workshops, exhibitions, film festivals, from book clubs to concerts to design shows, move into the online space.

We have a range of communication platforms to help us do that, from basic to more elaborate and feature rich platforms. It is good to see the virtual world of Second Life being used for Billions of Us – “an (emerging) creative community and collective devoted to using virtual technologies to improve the real world in this time of vast systemic change.” (Thanks to Pam Broviak for sharing this through her Public Works blog. Pam and I met in Second life back in mid 2000’s and then with Paul Wilkinson and Jodie Miners formed Be2Camp – now dormant but Paul has an archive of posts on his ExtranetEvolution blog)

Indeed there is nothing new to online exhibitions and fairs – back in 2014 we used Hyperfair for a number of events, complete with in-world talks, exhibitors and social events a few years ago with (Construction21 and Others) see Sustainability made Cool? Day one at #EXPOC21

A New Normal Built Environment

For us in the built environment, we are starting see that the world of design, construction, supply chains and communications will not be the same post Covid19. We will cannot return to the normal we knew, for that normal is in too many ways responsible for the problems we have now.

Preparing for a new post Covid19 normal must be part of a ‘never waste this crisis’ approach that practices and companies need to take. And now is the time to take that development, when employees are home based, with more time to learn, develop and help shape a future business.

We cannot waste this crisis and we must emerge stronger, ready to address a different environment, when addressing the climate and ecological breakdown will be very high, if not top of the agenda. We have see, through remarkable images of how air quality dramatically improved as activity stopped in Wuhan and Italy. We have seen, after only a short time of ‘shut down’ how nature can thrive, here in the UK (shut down of modern life allows nature to thrive), in the canals of Venice and beyond.

To this end I am running in-house, online inter-active CPD style sessions through Zoom or Teams for a number of my clients, both here in the UK and overseas. (If you are interested in this for your organisation please get in touch)

Zoom Regenerative

A weekly 45 minute Zoom meet up for those interested in learning more or are practising regenerative approaches, in sustainability, in the built environment, in business etc. Each session will feature an introduction or presentation from a regenerative colleague from around the world, followed by a lightly facilitated discussion. Starting on April 7th, I plan Zoom Regenerative to be held Tuesdays at 8pm UK (but possibly shifting an hour or two to allow participation from Australia at a sensible hour)

Link for the Zoom session will be on my twitter feed under hashtags #ZoomRegen

RESTORE COST Newsletter

An extract from my Contribution the the RESTORE Cost Action ..

It is possible that every sustainability practitioner, academic and student globally is now home working. Through communication technologies we can share and discuss the work of RESTORE and regenerative sustainability. There are many working groups discussions taking place through Zoom, but we can do more. For example

LFE (Living Future Europe) has started a weekly Resilience Lounge hosted by Carlo Battisti. (Wednesdays 5pm UK Details)

Martin will be starting a weekly Zoom Regenerative series starting on the 7th April with guest from around the world sharing their regenerative voices, actions and approaches. (Tuesdays 8pm UK Details and #ZoomRegen)

There is a global Transition Town discussion group on Monday 30th hosted by founder Rob Hopkins

There are also many on line book clubs which have caught my eye, for example The Living Mountain as a twitter based book club – search #CoReadingVirus and a Nature Writing Course hosted by Emergence Magazine starting on 5th April 12.00 PST

Connectivity with Nature, its importance to mental and physical health is a key theme that runs through the work and outcomes of RESTORE. It is a sad consequence of housing design and construction over recent decades that many many families are now isolated in homes with no views, no access to nature, and in some cases in city centres with no windows. We will undoubtedly see a rise in mental health, anxiety and domestic violence. You may have noticed an increase in the sharing of nature based images, videos, art and music across social media. This in a small way, may give a little comfort to those without access or views.

Lets use our collective and individual social media accounts to share, and lets use the hashtags #NoticeNature and #CostRestore

Suggested reading In Times of Uncertainty, let nature be your refuge Lucy Jones – author Losing Eden: Why Our Minds Need the Wild.

Monarch Butterfly (see Why is there a Monarch Butterfly on the cover of FutuREstorative …)

Why EXPOC21 is a vital event for the built environment

Time was, to uncover the latest thinking and developments in the world of sustainability meant a lot of travel and time investment. I recall, whilst developing and driving the Mowlem Sustainability Strategy for Prime Contracting at the end of the 90’s, having to trundle to conferences in London, or to Defence Estates in the Midlands, spending a whole day in conference mode, only to pick up a few nuggets of intelligence or inspiration.

Today we can pick up most intelligence via the web and social media. We use webinars and online events to share. Physical events such as Eco Build, now wrapped in social media and web applications, certainly have their place. But mainstream trade fairs haven’t as yet really embraced the potential of the online world, by going completely virtual.

One organisation driving the emerging virtual expo space is HyperFair – and it is their technology, that allows visitors to attend exhibition as an avatar, that the forthcoming Construction21 virtual trade fair will be using.

Construction21EXPO.eu EUROPE - logo

Over two days, 14th and 15th May, EXPOC21, will enable you to visit a number of greenbuild product stands, talk to leading sustainability organisations on their stands, be inspired and talk with a number of leading greenbuild  thoughtleaders, engage in panel debates and network with construction and sustainability professionals across Europe and Globally.  All with a vastly reduce commitment on your time, and on your carbon emission, without leaving the office or your kitchen table!

And, I think there is another important reason visiting EXPOC21 – to experience and interact with others within a virtual environment.  One of the great drivers for todays industry is BIM, information management and modelling, and the associated emergence with 3D environments.

60199455601729109971916966764nfEngaging with others in virtual environments, discussing proposed designs with clients and contractors and end users, whilst moving through the design itself, will become an established aspect of our industry – and a key skill to hone now. Those who have experience of Second Life, Minecraft or even Sims will feel at home, but for others, this is an experience not to be missed, and attendance as a delegate is free.

See you there!

Links for the show:

To register go here

Check out the Thought Leader Presentation series

Green Build Panel Debate hosted by World GBC Europe, covering topics such as Economics of Green Building projects, Scaling up for Retofit, Green Responsibilities and Sustainability performance Directives

Follow the show via Twitter #EXPOC21 #EXPOC21chat and @C21EXPO_EUROPE

Tweetchats and Twitterviews held leading up to the show, with more in show interviews to come.

Construction21EXPO Background and Team (pdf)

 

Disclosure: I have been supporting and advising the Construction21 team on social media and related sustainability aspects.

BIM: Gaming Down Barriers

I had the opportunity to experience the gamers device, the Oculus Rift, at a recent Lancashire Construction Best Practice Club event on BIM, courtesy of Vin Sumners from Clicks and Links, taking a virtual tour through the Manchester Town Hall linked to the BIM model for that project.

Interesting to see then that Second Life friend, Jon Brouchoud at Arch Virtual is pushing commercial boundaries of BIM and Oculus Rift in his article BIM Goes Virtual: Oculus Rift and virtual reality are taking architectural visualization to the next level 

“The first thing people do when they put on the Rift is to reach out trying to touch the walls or furniture they see in the virtual model, even it doesn’t really exist,” said Jon Brouchoud, “It’s an almost involuntary reaction, which I think that says a lot about how immersed they are. They really do feel as if they’re occupying a completely different place.”

Rift-side-by-1024x306

(Jon presented live from the USA / Second Life at the first Be2Camp event way back in 2008, there is a link to Jon’s Be2camp presentation on slideshare here)

At the time I tried the Oculus Rift I commented that we can add much more data, augmented reality, into the virtual experience, for example when touching walls, if we could see for example the sustainability data of components, health data, manufacturing data, time to replacement and cost data.

But more importantly such gaming devices can make construction and BIM exciting for all generations, fostering greater collaboration across disciplines in both a virtual and real environment – Gaming Down Barriers.

Gaming Down Barriers is the title of a Innovation Voucher funded report produced by Martin Brown and Paul Wilkinson for Clicks and Links which should be publicly available in the near future. The report makes the argument that BIM through gaming could break down collaborative working barriers as did the original Building Down Barriers programme.

be2camp north shapes up

www-constInterested in the Built Environment?  Not sure about Web 2.0, social media, blogs, Twitter and the like?

Then Be2camp North is the event for you.

Following on from the world’s first Web 2.0 construction event, in London in October 2008, Be2camp North in Liverpool on 15 May brings together people interested in how Web 2.0 can help industry professionals create a more sustainable built environment. From using social media for marketing to GIS, BIM and virtual worlds, Be2camp will stimulate and challenge how you use the web. Find out more at http://www.be2camp.comJust looking at the potential scope and range of topics for the up coming be2camp north event in Liverpool on the 15th May.

be2camp

The topics and themes for the day are shaping up as follows?  Where else will you be able to get the following for ‘free’ ?

Register Here

Topics:

Ada Lovelace Day – Women and technology (Suw Charman-Anderson – via Skype)

Geographical information

  • Geographical information and urban design (Rollo Home)
  • Earth Exchange, map mashups for construction (Alex Albon)
  • Geo-caching – talk and game (Martin Brown and others)

Second Life + other Virtual Worlds

  • Wikitecture – a Second life view from USA (Keystone Bouchard)
  • Pivote – Second Life emergency training (Dave @ Daden)
  • Maybe a Second Life contribution from Leeds? (Angrybeth)
  • SL Pennine Lancs (elevate) visualisation (Jeff Smithson)
  • Sustainability Now 2009: lessons from the latest virtual exhibition (Phil Clark / UBM?).

Ubiquitous computing

  • Arduino session (Amon Katz)
  • The internet of things – Adrian McEwen

BIM

Other topics

  • Web 2.0 and construction PR and marketing (Paul Wilkinson)
  • Social media guide for AEC people: out of beta (Pam Broviak)
  • Online communities: the Constructing Excellence collaborative working champions (Martin Brown / Paul Wilkinson)
  • Bazaart: Street art and urban design (Daniel Gilbert)
  • Possible Passiv Haus link with San Fransisco
  • CWC recession survival guide launch?
  • Kalexo: new levels of interaction in construction collaboration (TBC – possibly input from California)

What would you like to see?  Please use the be2camp discussion forums feature to:

  • volunteer to speak on an existing topic/idea
  • suggest additional or alternative speakers
  • suggest additional or alternative topics
  • nominate speakers where nobody is currently listed
  • volunteer a presentation, a story or anecdote of your own

Background:

The Be2camp concept started as a Twitter conversation between Martin Brown and Paul Wilkinson, following Martin’s attendance at Barcamp-type events, suggesting we do ‘something’ for the (UK) built environment. This discussion was picked by Jodie Miners in Australia, through Twitter, and through conversations within Second Life with Pam Broviakfrom Illinois, USA. The timing of Be2camp 2008 was fixed to coincide with Jodie’s visit to the UK, while Pam helped coordinate Be2camp’s Second Life activities. So now you know who to contact, praise or blame!

web tech construction

Do you know your Twitter from an Avatar, or RSS from a BIM?

I am currently running an innovation circle for Construction Knowledge Exchange (CKE) looking at the use of web technology in construction at UCLAN.  The first session  took a lightning tour through communication, design and collaboration in the sector, from fax machines to BIM storms.

Innovation circles are based on a cycle of four 2 hour sessions, the content of each being decided by the delegates based upon the first ‘overview’ session.  Web technology in construction flyer

Future sessions will look into the worlds of:

■ Communications—blogs, twitter, skype and conference tools.(Thursday 10th April 1pm)

■ Information—google and wikis

■ Design—beyond CAD to Second Life, BIM and Bimstorms.

…. and, technology (wifi) permitting will be more hands on and interactive wih the web applications. (Why is I find the most trouble some place to get wifi or internet connections is within universities?  OftenI feel like taking the workshop “across the road” to a MacDonalds or Starbucks !)

Following the fourth session the presentation materials will be available here and on slideshare, with a recap at the be2campnorth event on 15th May in Liverpool.

on web awareness

Paul at ExtranetEvolution AEC conferences, content and ‘unconferences’and Jodie at I have no opinion world architecture festival have commented recently on the low awareness and application of web technologies in the AEC and conference world.  As one would expect following previous posts here, and as a founder to be2camp, I would share the same views, reinforced with recent observations.

I was amazed at the low awareness of web applications recently as I presented a session entitled from Facebook to BIMStorms. I knew I wasn’t going to complete the journey planned through the presentation when only 20% of the 70 people there used Facebook, and when asked if they used Facebook for anything other than social the response was nil, a couple on CAD, but then blanks on twitter, linkedin, BIM, etc. I couldn’t mention Second Life …  And these were 70 of our next generation managers – being engaged in HNC or HND courses at the moment.

Hopefully it has led to working with colleges on raising awareness.

Another day, another course, a different set of organisations – 6 small contractors, discussion on use of IT on sites to enable access to knowledge, communication etc.  Not one would allow laptops or computers on site, quoting a lack of trust of their staff to use responsibly and a security / theft issue.

A reminder that its 80% people management and 20% ICT ???  But maybe the 20% is taking the blindfold off?

Oh and has anyone tried to book a venue for an unconference with open wifi or good connectivity and  power for people to use laptops?  I find this frustratingly difficult as I seek a venue for a half day event next month. Conference organisers are way behind this need. And who feels awkward in using a laptop to make notes or blog, or to use the phone to tweet at a conventional conference?

For many conventional conference attendees, the idea of streaming presentations online will be a novel concept; laptops and mobile phones should remain switched off during sessions; and ‘social networking’ means wine and canapes – not blogs and tweets

And as I write this I see twitter messages from Mel and Paul on identifying who within the built environment sector are really embracing web2.0 technologies, as Mel says who is walking their talk? My reposnse would be:those who engaging with initaiatives such as be2camp, like the Constructing Excellence Collaborative Working Champions who are stepping forward to explore web2.0 in a days workshop in January led by Paul and myself. like the use of Twiiter by Constructing Excellence.  Yes early days but ….

be2camp count down – collaboration with web2.0

With three days to go. this post looks at one of the streams at be2camp. collaborating with web2.

More information and details of registration (its free to register) can be found at http://www.be2camp.com

From mid morning through to the close of the main session, the following topics will, may, be covered:

As with all unconference barcamps this will evolve and develop and allows for new topics and presentations to be set up on the day – what would you like to see or share to inspire others?

Keep in touch via twitter on @be2camp or the be2camp website

be2camp founders and un-organisers are: martin brown, paul wilkinson, jodie miners, pam broviak

Contact be2camp via be2camp@gmail.com