Posts Tagged ‘OpenSim’

Towards the Future: A Foundation to Support OpenSim in Education, Science, and Research

December 29, 2009 1 comment

Fashion Research Institute CEO Shenlei Winkler presented the initial proposal for a formal foundation for OpenSim in education, science, and research on Friday, December 11 at a MICA Professional Seminar in Second Life. Shenlei is known to some as a Mass market designer, an educator, a large scale virtual builder in Open Sim such as Shengri La Spirit designed to “push” the performance ability. Shenlei served as executive administrator and grant writer for the SLOAN digital sky survey [SDSS] project . She has  experience working on big projects that have sweeping scope and a variety of collaborators across multiple continents and cultures.

The link above w/slides will open an audio podcast of her presentation. Pasted below is a summary of what she presented – details are in the audio.

When her team of multi-disciplinary collaborators first suggested the possibility of a foundation for Open Sim, Shenlei  stepped up and agreed to champion the community building process and administrative aspects to help make this foundation a reality.

For the past few months multidisciplinary teams have been collaborating and working on different educational, scientific  and research projects on the IEEE  ACM hosted Science Sim grid which now includes about 80 regions or so. Shenlei goes on to mention some of the projects that were developed to support the development of Open Sim. She mentions her side projects of putting together the first ever Virtual world based Fashion Design Conference [ Threading the Needle:The Future of Fashion Design Conference] for a global audience of fashion design students and educators.  These efforts from a multi disciplinary collaboration have yielded a rich repository of knowledge and best practices. She stated that all collaborators and participants agreed that they did not want to see the efforts of the combined knowledge lost.

The vision she presented: “A foundation that maintains a stable distribution of OpenSim to enable new usages for education, science, and research in persistent 3D spaces built and deployed by a federation of organizations and users.”

The mission she presented:

  • Maintain a stable distribution of the OpenSim 3D platform.
  • Document  best practices for the use of OpenSim in science and education
  • Provide a toolkit of content and applications to support these best practices.

The community is currently in a very early stage of a two phase development. The first phase entails determining user requirements  – Shenlei made an open call for WIKI contributions of user requirements –  interested parties to e-mail they thought about this directly to her. More meetings will be set up in world over the next few weeks. Please send your contact information to Shenlei Winkler is you would like her to notify you that an upcoming meeting will be taking place.

This is a grand sweeping initiative and there is a lot of room in this tent for anyone that wants to help and participate. Input is welcome.

OpenSim is a great platform it’s broadly extensible and the artificial limits of the Second Life platform are not present however it has it’s quirks and documentation and best practices will be very helpful for new practitioners. If you are a tester or a technical writer or you just want to help out this is a great way to get involved. The foundation will also provide training and orientation material and may also provide training and orientation programs as well. The foundations will also develop toolkits of content, scripting and plug-ins that will be available to users that are affiliated with the foundation. Having certain basic content classes available to new users helps speed their virtual world emersion

Shenlei states that ” the Fashion Research Institute [FRI ] has provided new default avatars on the ScienceSIM  new users to this grid immediately change into these avatars that are provided. Content like this is important – research finds that work does not get done until the avatar user is content that the avatar is customized to their taste. But beyond basic avatar content new projects may require common scripts, tool such as presentation boards, viewers, land and group management tools. Various plug ins help speed adoption of the successful implementation of ew projects. The foundation can provide a central authority and repository for such references and support services.” Shenlei welcomes any feedback from all users.

Skills that are needed:

  • Administration
  • Documentation
    • Integration user level Admin Developer
    • Development
    • Project Management
    • System Grid Administration
    • Content Creation
      • Building, Graphic Design, Scripting, Integration, Avatar Customization
      • Marketing
        • Collateral Logo name, style book, event planning
        • Grant Writing
        • Management Policies Development
        • Public Relations
          • Social Media, New  Outreach
          • Legal Support
          • Technical Training

Your help is requested to help launch this foundation.

First (Ever!) Virtual World-Based Fashion Design Conference

December 2, 2009 Leave a comment

Head on over to Shenlei Winkler’s [FRI] post detailing last minute preparation for the Threading the Needle Fashion Design Conference

Patterning History:
Preparing for the First (Ever!)
Virtual World-Based
Fashion Design Conference.

I visited the conference area in the images below. Shenlei orientated my avatar and provided it with clothing, hair, skin and shoes. Thank you Shenlei! Here is a link to the FRI orientation page. I visited the conference area where I will be presenting.

I managed to snap an image of Steven Zucker obsessing about his avatar’s nose. It look just fine to me Steven! 🙂

Threading the Needle:The Future of Fashion Design Conference

November 28, 2009 2 comments

Fashion Research Institute  will be presenting and sponsoring the first virtual world-based fashion design conference in history. It is titled: Threading the Needle: The Future of Fashion Design. This is a free conference for for fashion design students and new designers it will run will run Thursday, December 3rd from 8 am – 5 pm EDT.

Conference speakers include Kerry Bannigan (CEO, Nolcha Fashion Week); Fiona Jenvey (CEO, Mudpie); Beth Harris (Director of Digital Learning, MOMA-NYC); Crosby Noricks (Founder, PR Couture); Suzie Norris-Reeves (FHEA, Head of School, Southampton Solent University); Elaine Polvinen (Professor & Coordinator – Fashion Textile Technology, Buffalo State University); Michiel Thissen  (Founder, Mythos Consultancy); Shenlei Winkler (CEO, Fashion Research Institute); Steven Zucker (Dean of Graduate Studies, FIT).

The conference is free for all attendees – simply create a user account on the ScienceSim grid at Then download the software, and log in. It’s that simple, and both the software and the conference are free. 

You will need to make a simple change to the viewer to ‘point’ it to ScienceSim:

 When you start the Hippo viewer, click on the “Grids” button to select one of the grids. The first time you run Hippo, you will need to click on the “Grids” button. Click on the “Add” button at the top, enter the URL in the Login URI field, then click on the “Get Grid Info” button to fill in the details. If you will be using Hippo exclusively to access the ScienceSim grid, then make sciencesim the default.

Attendees will want to log in a little early and customize their avatars, so they feel comfortable with their avatar representation and with the interface.  There are 45 minute orientation sessions which will be provided on November 19th and 26th from 1-2 pm EDT, and November 29 from 9-10 am EDT.  Experienced mentors will be on hand to guide you through the orientation, which takes about 30 minutes, with 15 minutes to customize your avatar.

For more information, please visit or contact admin @

Technology Day at FIT Part III

April 28, 2008 5 comments

Technology Day at FIT: Teaching and learning in Four Dimensions

Shenlei Winkler aka Shenlei Flashart in SL

 Round Table Discussions: Virtual World Community Gateway for the Apparel Industry presented by Shenlei Winkler, Director of the Fashion Research Institute [FRI]. 



Shenlei Winkler presents at FIT Technology Day

Shenlei Winkler aka Shenlei Flashart in SL is the lead developer of building a Virtual World Community Gateway, an orientation space developed expressly for apparel industry personnel where they can learn to navigate and use virtual worlds safely and free of any hassles that may exist in the general SL community environment. Virtual world skills will become increasingly more important as new industrial solutions incorporating virtual worlds are developed for the apparel industry.

Shenlei Winkler and Elaine Polvinen meet for the first rime in real life at the FIT Technology Day.

The Virtual World Community Gateway for the Apparel Industry is located in Second Life on a group of five sims (a utopian micronation in Second Life) owned by the Fashion Research Institute. Shengri La is one of the islands, here is the SURL location to visit the Fashion Research Institute in Second Life.

The Second Life Virtual World orientation space is currently open by invitation only to apparel industry personnel. The gateway is open 24/7, 365 days and trained helpers will be available on a limited basis. Individuals will be encouraged to learn at their own pace with tutorials so they can gain a virtual skill comfort level at their own speed. Shenlei’s contact info is

It is not open to the general public. If you are a member of the apparel industry or fashion educator and are interested in introducing yourself and your faculty/staff contact Shenlei Winkler to gain access to the specialized virtual world orientation gateway she has created for the apparel industry and fashion educators.

According to Shenlei, this virtual world introductory experience will also include a  variety of customization options (provided by some of the top designers in SL) that will include everything a new user will need to develop their own style.

Industrial solutions incorporating virtual worlds are currently in development within the Black Dress Technology (Black Dress) subsidiary that FRI and IBM recently announced to develop an end-to-end enterprise solution for virtual-worlds-based product design for the [real world] fashion industry. This solution will serve small niche fashion product developer as well as mass market private label retailers.

Shenlei spoke about her past experience as a fashion product developer for a multi million dollar retailer. 2D designs are often misunderstood at the factory, presenting the designs in 3D virtual reality would eliminate multiple time wasting errors. A virtual reality product development application will allow real time development. The virtual world design solution that FRI & IBM are currently working on will result in a faster more robust and stable environment for apparel design. It is designed and set-up specifically for [real world] apparel and product designers. This will finally resolve the issue of accurate creative development time as time studies for creative work will be automatically calculated. FRI & IBM are also developing and testing the virtual world platform OpenSim, which is an enterprise alternative to Second Life(tm).

One last note about Shenlei Winkler – to locate multiple posts about Shenlei and the Fashion Research Institute please search within this blog for “Shenlei Winkler” or the “Fashion Research Institute.”

There were plenty of other Discussion Roundtables but alas I could not split myself into multiple personalities to participate in all of them. I would like to invite other roundtable leaders to comment to this post to summarize your discussion. Some of the other roundtable leaders were:

  • [Blogging in Italian] Isabella Bertoletti
  • [Conversations About Design] Leslie Blum [COM DES], Nancy Deihi [TEX/SUR DES], and Gordon Frey [INT DES]
  •  [Education: Product and/or Process] Daria Dorosh from the New Media Institute, University of East London
  • [A Second Life for the Classroom?] Larry Dugan, Finger Lakes Community COllege and Beth Ritter-Guth, Lehigh Carbon Community College
  • [Virtual Astonomy for Hybred Courses in the  Physical Sciences] Joseph Liddicoat [Science & Math]
  • [Online Teaching and Learning in Spanish] Madeline Millan [Foreign Languages]
  •  [Science & Math] [Having Technical Discussions Online]Karen Pearson [Science & Math] Calvin Williamson
  • [Web 2.0: Distributed Creativity and Framing Thought] G. Brett Phares from Marist College
  • [The Information Dimension of the FIT Library] NJ Wolfe [Gladys Marcus Library FIT]

[note: if a college is not mentioned after the name, the person is an FIT faculty member]

Continued on …Technology Day at FIT – Part IV

Link to my FLICKR images from the conference.

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

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