Wikitecture Wins International Competition: 3D-Wiki Used to Compose an Open-Source Entry


Out of 566 registered entries from 57 countries, Studio Wikitecture won the overall ‘Founder’s Award’ <> for their open-source entry to a competition hosted by Architecture for Humanity on the Open Architecture Network. <> In keeping with the collaborative spirit of the Open Architecture Network, their entry <> for a tele-medicine facility in Western Nepal was chosen “for embracing a truly collaborative way of working using online crowdsourcing and Second Life as a way to create a highly participatory design approach.” Source <>

Having conducted a number of experiments over the last year into the feasibility of applying an open-source paradigm to the practice of architecture, the Studio Wikitecture <> group developed a 3D-Wiki plug-in on the virtual reality platform, Second Life, that they used to help build consensus among the numerous contributors in this open-source project.

The ‘Wiki-Tree’ as it was called, acted as a version tracking system that worked very much like a conventional Wiki, but instead of tracking text documents in a linear history as you see in Wikipedia, the ‘Wiki-Tree’ tracked versions of 3-dimensional models and saved them within a continually evolving 3-dimensional digital tree ‘canopy’. Similar to Wikipedia, this 3D-Wiki allowed this loose, self-organized group of contributors to share ideas, edit the contributions of others, and vote on which design iterations should be considered for further refinement.

Over and above the actual building design, Studio Wikitecture’s entry proposed that the wiki-tree and virtual model live on pass the competition and be used to help incorporate feedback from the Nepalese community and end-users into evolving design.

In addition, they proposed that the virtual platform would allow individuals from around the world to experience the local site and conditions as the project evolves over time, further expanding the outreach, awareness and support for this project to a global audience.

The winning entry was the result of Studio Wikitecture’s 3rd Wikitecture experiment to explore the procedures and protocols necessary to practice a more open and distributed approach to architectural design. Of those, the group explored prediction market voting procedures to assure consensus or ‘Crowd Wisdom’, as well as developed a contribution assessment system to divvy up fair ownership among all the contributors.

The Final Competition Boards:

A time-lapse video of the evolving design:

A video illustrating how the ‘Wiki-Tree’ works:

A journal article outlining, in detail, the three Wikitecture experiments:

The accompanying website: (click on ‘go’ twice to enter anonymously)

The Blog:


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