28 August 2015


Many Second Life residents are no doubt familiar with Inara Pey through her blog, Living in a Modemworld, which stands unrivaled as the leading news site on Second Life and related topics in virtual reality. But many may not be familiar with her fascination with the work of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and in particular his iconic design for Fallingwater, a home created for the Kaufmann family of Pittsburgh in a fairly remote section of southwestern Pennsylvania in the 1930s. She now shares that interest at Impressions: a personal view of Second Life on LEA6, which features a remarkably accurate model of the home (at least to my eyes, having spent enough time at the real life location to be struck by Inara's detailed work).

Explorers will really get a pretty good sense of what the real life Fallingwater is like, minus the fragrance of the wooded land around it. A couple visitors have seemed stumped as to where to enter the house: simply head up the walkway, turn left, and you'll see a little doorway near the antique car, and that leads into the living room, just as in the real thing. It's Inara's second attempt at recreating Fallingwater (and the guest house, which sits up the hill): "The first version I did was guesswork based on photos," she says. "Later, I found a set of floorplans for the main house and the outbuildings, and they sent me off on rebuilding in 2011/2012." Some minor adjustments have been made for avatar height (Wright's homes have some notoriously narrow and small spaces, particularly bathrooms and hallways) and camming issues. It's not a "modern" mesh build, but that's really besides the point, and Inara has reproduced as closely as she can the original Kaufmann furnishings, which are still in the real home.

But there's more to the Impressions project: throughout the interior and exterior of Fallingwater are photographs and videos by Inara taken on her many trips around the grid, and sculptures and photos by CioTToLiNa Xue, whose work Inara recently discovered. You'll be able to see the location and date of any photo by checking in edit — for example, on a bedroom balcony stand two photos from Checkmate taken in July 2014 and one photo of Cantrip de Savor taken in January 2015 — and videos are clearly labeled. CioTToLiNa's works are well incorporated around the house, including one, donna uomo abbracciati in mano, that overlooks the falls (photo below). Additionally, the wooded sections of the sim themselves are delightful, and wanderers will find secluded spots of refuge here and there. Impressions will remain open until September 30, and the Fallingwater reproduction isn't likely to be recreated again in Second Life, so this is a one-time chance to experience the remarkable space. To learn more, read Inara's own thoughts on the installation on her blog here.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Ziki, for both visiting and for your coverage of the LEA 6 installation, and for your words about the accuracy of the build, which has been an obsession for me for a good while! Thanks as well for the pointer about people finding their way in; I'll add a sign on the morrow pointing to the front door and the terrace entrances!