Sunday, December 11, 2005

Single Maltz Residence

Having now looked at a number of residential builds I remained somewhat unconvinced as to their relevance, mainly because it would seem that SL is a place that we visit rather than reside. If anything, the function of a residential build seems largely symbolic rather than functional, a signifier of the type of lifestyle with which one wishes to associate themselves, an extension of the avatar, a place to display one's possessions.

Which is why I was taken by surprise when encountering a stunning home in Chicagon (Chicagon 5,219). Aside from the architecture, which does a fantastic job of cozying into its hillside contours, retained with a solid sloped wall on the high side and setting up the condition for a series of angular shells which partially encapsulate volumes completed by either planes of glass or landscape elements, what was even more rarefied about this iconic build, with its highly specific response to site was that its owner, Single Maltz was there alone, playing her piano. Actually residing in her residence.

I couldn't help but be compelled to enter and ask permission to feature the build. She invited me in, and we sat down in chairs placed in an area that had been intentionally designed for one-on-one conversation. I learned that in RL she is an architectural professional based in the UK, and that she had built the house herself. We chatted about the limitations of the building tools, the relevance of enclosure and all seemed so...civilized. In fact, the very fact that we were in this build of her own creation contributed immensely to how I came to understand the way Single wishes to present herself in a manner that was very different than the usual adhoc sandbox encounter spent mostly rezzing and passing inventory. The highly personal nature of this build was an integral part of the encounter, much more so than if it had occurred within a prefab, infinitely more so than the commodified objects it contained.

Having left this encounter my opinions of residential builds had changed, thinking perhaps they can indeed not only serve a symbolic but also a functional purpose. This build wasn't merely representing a visual style with which the owner wanted to be associated. This residence has been brilliantly conceived around the act of welcoming. We may indeed only aspire to be visitors in this world, but my experience in this place of dwelling, however temporary, has dramatically shaped my experience in a positive way.


At 12/12/2005 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey! Just commenting to tell you that a blog partially inspired by yours has popped up. Although we're based on the Teen Grid.... It's . Thanks!


At 12/12/2005 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, that's a DAMN sexy house.

At 12/12/2005 5:46 PM, Blogger Prokofy Neva said...

Chip, your notion of builds being merely aesthetic or non-functional beautiful pieces, is a kind of RL architectural student take on SL, it seems to me.

In SL, most people in homes in fact do make them function and have a huge variety of functions, not the least of which is avatar sex and householding. It's really a hugely rich experience, and if the houses don't always pass muster with Architectural Digest, they are all the more compelling because of the meaning with which avatars have imbued them.

This house featured is wonderful, but it is the kind of sculpturey house that most people wouldn't want to live in, though I delight in it, too, in terms of line and beauty. And this resident lives it and made it her own apart from its architectural value as a 3-d home sculpture precisely because she appears to be following the trend I see whereby avatars are central, wrapping the house to fit themselves as a kind of non-inventoried decoration, rather than first creating the structure, then fitting in the avatar and his inventory.

I do have a question: why mint green? This mint green seems to be the new black. I see it everywhere. I have a whole rentals community in Obscure with just these architecturey mint-green houses by different architects, all of whom opted to use this particular shade (mint green may not be quite the term for it in fact.). Looking forward to an explanation of this new fad lol.

At 12/12/2005 8:00 PM, Blogger Chip Poutine said...

Agreed. The notion that houses are merely stylistic and non-functional was suggested mainly to foreshadow how I had indeed proven myself wrong. I would imagine in acting as landlord it must be interesting to be privy to SL domesticity in all of its dimensions.

As for the mint green, I'm not really sure where it comes from. I painted my RL bathroom that colour, mainly because it reminds me of toothpaste :)

At 12/12/2005 8:39 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I just wanted to say I really liked this post, and the whole blog. Keep it up, chip.


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