Jayjay Zifanwe (sl name), has been very kind by giving us an interview about UWA and its project in SL. We have spoken about this proyect in other posts.
Silene Christen: so let’s start. May I as you where are you from?
Jayjay Zifanwe: Perth, Australia
Silene Christen: you are leading a major proyect in Second Life. How did it started?
Jayjay Zifanwe: started in 2007, when I met Dr Chris Thorne, who is a Research Associate at the University of Western Australia. He wanted to create a virtual world, I wanted to create UWA i 3d form so we had our own little virtual world, called the UWA Virtual Universe. Then we won the Google Earth Build Your Campus in 3D competition and then after that in 2009, saw an opportunity to get the UWA presence up in Second Life. So its a personal dream for the both of us
Silene Christen: But you are the “face” of UWA at SL…
Jayjay Zifanwe: well, yes, I guess thats how things have developed
Silene Christen: 🙂 And exactly what is this proyect? what are its goals?
Jayjay Zifanwe: well, the first goal was initially just to have the RL campus in 3d. That was the only plan, and i thought maybe after a few years if we build a good place, maybe we have rl teaching of university degrees in sl… But through ‘serendipity’
Jayjay Zifanwe: the teaching started quickly, the research started and the art challenge started very suddenly, and so now our goals changed to be comprehensive in sl. To have architecture, arts, research and teaching
Silene Christen: Other question… UWA has a cost…. How are you financing the proyect?
Jayjay Zifanwe: well, we had to raise funds from 8 different places, some from the university some from outside, some from alumni who were interested in seeing UWA in 3D
Silene Christen: In what way is related the UWA SL with the UWA rl?
Jayjay Zifanwe: well RL reearch is happening, visualisation reearch and rl teaching for the Business degree happens through sl, and also with the building design competition we will try to use the winning building as a baseline for the rl building we will make.
Silene Christen: And exactly what are the lines of research in rl? How SL is used to RL?
Jayjay Zifanwe: well for visualisation research people need to view the molecules, and DNA structures, and need to map out mathematical formula before they will send data by email and then use some programme to make the data into 3d, and takes time for people to view and comment and feedback. Here they can use the date to make the models in sl and the researchers can see the work together and comment, and make their evaluations in real time
Silene Christen: So sl is a 3d viwer for studies?
Jayjay Zifanwe: in a way, yes.
Silene Christen: What could be contributed from SL to RL architecture?(if there is any contribution)
Jayjay Zifanwe: the basic design of an rl build its hard for non architects to visualise somethig with architectural plans. Here they can see the final work and easily ask for changes etc
Silene Christen: You didn’t come from art field, how have been your meeting with the art in sl?
Jayjay Zifanwe: well its new to me but started because the cultural director for UWA, Professor Ted Snell was interested in sl and asked me what I can do in sl which is linked to art, so we came up with the art competition
Silene Christen: Well, i think with this interview we know a little more about UWA, and about you:) May be a final topic
Jayjay Zifanwe: cool
Silene Christen: You receive a lot of works, you see art and work from a lot of countries..
Jayjay Zifanwe: yes very happy and amazing to see
Silene Christen: do you consider is different depending on the nation or continent the art in sl?
Jayjay Zifanwe: not realy but to me its imortant as we can shw that sl is creating international connections
Silene Christen: how many months is this contest running?
Jayjay Zifanwe: 1 year
Silene Christen: do you consider art develops in time in SL? Or is there art movements?, fashions?
Jayjay Zifanwe: well people develop their skill over time and get better and better
Silene Christen: Well, now i think we do finish!
Silene Christen: thank’s a lot for your time
Jayjay Zifanwe: anytime silene
Silene Christen: You are making a great labour at SL, and I wish you the best for the whole proyect
Jayjay Zifanwe: much thanks
The link to UWA: Blog for the University of Western Australia campus on Second Life