Having spent nearly a decade working in computer games, I had come to understand and appreciate not only how they were put together technically, but also the power that virtual environments had to engage the user’s attention and imagination.


MMO’s were starting to hit the big time and were exposing millions of users to new dimensions in virtual experience. Second Life’s open-ended non-game universe re-awakened the architect in me. At the time, SL was experience a real-estate boom and need architects. I hung out my virtual shingle and opened my practice.

3D modeling  |  texturing  |  virtual worlds  |  environment design  |  character animation  |  behavior scripting  | visual design

virtual world architect

living the dream by returning to my roots

the context


I left a career in professional architecture to become a pioneering virtual architect, but had been sidetracked into more general and higher order designs - concepts, games, simulations.


I wanted to build again and Second Life provided a fun building environment in a public place, and nifty scripting tools as well. It also had a financial incentive: Second Life's economy allowed individuals to freely exchange goods and services.  My goals was to create virtual places that people loved, and would pay to own.

my contributions


  • project concepts and direction
  • site master planning
  • 3D modeling and texturing (Sculpted Prims)
  • environment sculpting and special effects
  • behavior scripting (LSL)




To figure out how to put together a complete virtual world experience using Linden Labs' tools and formats. This included 3D primitive modeling, texturing, scripting, character modeling and animation.  And I had to also figure out how to market, sell, and exchange my work  for profit.

3D modeling again!


I had been 3D modeling since I first figured out AutoCAD 2.6 wireframes and surface modeling tool. I had even built structures by composing text files of coordinate scripts. I took to Second Life's primitive modeling quite naturally, and created large complex and beautiful structures out of surprisingly few prims.



My work was as an architect, hired by individuals to build structures according to their needs on real estate they controlled. I typically met with clients at their properties and discussed at length. Once they'd signed off on a program, I would build a "life-size" mass model and give them tours for feedback. From there on it was a matter of developing all the details.




I had no interest in building fantasy castles or discos, and was lucky to engage clients interested in more realistic places for performances and events.  I built several live music venues, all based on some  traditional or history location and retrofitted for performances.


In a replica of SF's historic blues club, The Saloon, I created and performed a simulcast of a Saturday night show of Second Hand Smoke. I also set up venues for events sponsored by the ACLU.




For reasons that I will not get into, I lost six months of some of my most creative work ever when Linden Labs dumped my inventory. Even worse, I had done a poor job of documenting and retaining my work. The best I can do are these small images shown here.


Copyright 2016 Joseph M. Knight