Stories from Second Life: DB Bailey’s LOCUS

Did you ever wonder why so much of the architecture in Second Life seems to strive to model reality? David Denton did, and his work on LOCUS in Second Life seeks to go beyond replication to explore new possibilities for expression that can only exist in a world without weather, gravity or budgets.

Known as DB Bailey in Second Life, David set out to design a place which allows “each building to have an individual architectural expression, working together as an aesthetic whole”.  Currently located on the region known as Cetus Institute, eventually LOCUS will be housed on its own island.


LOCUS takes the approach that architecture in a virtual space should reflect the unique character of that space,  while fostering a sense of community.  In that regard, it’s possible to walk together throughout the space along tree-lined boulevards.  At the same time, vertical signs hover above, providing orientation for airborne avatars.

It’s not surprising that such a creative place would attract a community of artists and designers.  There are exhibits by individual artists, galleries and design showcases, and clearly the range of artistic involvement will grow.  As Denton and his partner, Alex Noble (Happiness Merryman in SL) describe their goal:

The overall direction for the project is to create a community of design oriented entities, each connected to its Internet website, drawing traffic to and from the websites and Second Life. LOCUS will be a colony of virtual versions of websites that would encourage the meeting and interaction of website visitors. The intention is to strengthen the connection between SL and RL as well as to promote the sales of RL art and design services through the SL venue.

LOCUS is still in development, but stop by — there are already installations by well-known real life artists Robert Wilson and Daniel Maltzman, and showcased Second Life designers such as Eshi Otawara, with more to come.  Or take the elevator up to the top of the tower (originally built for Burning Life), which features music by Second Life’s own Dizzy Banjo.


Feel free to discuss in the forums.  I’ll join you there.

About Robin Linden

Be the Change. You must be the change you wish to see in the world. ---Mahatma Gandhi
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6 Responses to Stories from Second Life: DB Bailey’s LOCUS

  1. Pingback: LOCUS : The Metaverse Journal - Australia’s Virtual World News Service

  2. Patch Thibaud says:

    I’d be tempted to refer to DB’s projects at LOCUS as an espansive, and thoughtful abstract commentaries on the meaning and potentialities of virtual architecture – which they most definitely and very valuably are. But that wouldn’t convey what really hits home for me: the breathtaking, shimmering, ephemeral beauty of his creations. They are gorgeous, playful, expansive, intimate. More than anyone else I can think of, DB exploits the possiblilities of transparency and translucence in SL – perhaps its most seductive effect – better than anyone else I know of in SL. Check it out!

    DB: Don’t stop.

    Patch Thibaud.

  3. Locke Traveler says:

    I’m neither an architect nor a builder, but this have often been on my mind travelling through Second Life. I personally have no care for gravity; why are the buildings all rooted through “foundations”? Why do pillars support the roofs (which, incidentally, block my camera)?

    I’ll be sure to visit this project. It sounds like exactly what I’ve been looking for. Free from boring skyscrapers and malls.

  4. Good luck, Robin in your future endeavors. You will no doubt continue to have great influence on the virtual world. Thank you for your nice article about LOCUS. I just want to mention a few of the other artists who are participating in LOCUS. We are very pleased to have Robert Wilson’s exhibition, which was brought to LOCUS by KK Jewel of Arcspace (, which is one of the most important internet sites on architecture. Current installations in LOCUS have been provided by other artists such as Douglas Story/Desdemona Enfield, Chrome Underwood, Harper Beresford, Eshi Otawara, Dizzy Banjo, Daniel Maltzman, Bryn Oh, Paul Gabbert, and Laura Stewart. We’re looking forward to future installations by Gattina Dumpling, Four Yip and Geoffrey Witte. We will soon be opening an exhibition of Japanese kimono fabrics from the collection of the Stanford University Library, combined with recent fashions designed by Eshi Otawara. While LOCUS is still under construction, we invite everyone to come visit and have a look around. Our sim name is currently CETUS Institute but will soon change to LOCUS.

  5. DB’s work is not the first in SL to get free of “budgets, gravity and weather”, and many others created innovative works, either loosely copying the physical life or creating new things. Just visit 🙂
    Alas many were lost recently…

  6. Kyzaadrao Skall says:

    Sounds like a builder that stopped halfway through the building process…you know, building is still up in the air, walls not laid in yet, etc. Are we so stuck in virtual mode that a building with no walls becomes innovation or art? I’m over-emphasizing but jeez.

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