Avatar Apparel Internships in OpenSim with Fashion Research Institute

Applications are being accepted for Winter 2010 internships with the Fashion Research Institute.

These internships will begin January 25th and run until April 30.  Interns are expected to commit a minimum of 6-8 hours a week to the internship, with formal training sessions provided on Monday evenings from 6-9 pm ET.  Interns must commit to being present at these training sessions.  Instruction is provided only in English.

At the end of their internships, interns’ work will be presented in a virtual fashion runway show, with models which the interns will style from hair to shoes.  All interns will complete their internship with Fashion Research Institute with a completed collection of avatar apparel including concept boards to product ads, which may be added to their portfolio. A final presentation of their work will be created.  Our Summer interns’ runway show can be viewed here.

Requirements:

Interns must provide their own Internet access and computer hardware and software sufficient to allow them access to the Institute’s classroom and facilities in FRI’s OpenSim Shengri La regions.  Interns must have experience with and access to Photoshop (not provided). Interns must have a ScienceSim avatar account (available free).   Interns must also have a Skype account (free) with access to it during training periods.

Applicants must be currently enrolled in design school. Some design experience and background is required; these internships are largely not suitable for freshmen.  Internships begin January 25th.

To apply, send your resume with 1-2 fashion images you have sketched or illustrated along with contact information to admin @ fashionresearchinstitute.com.  Deadline for application is January 15th.  We accept applications until the internship slots are filled.

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Shengri La Emergence Day Party April 4th

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The original Shengri La island emerged on March 25th, 2007.  As it was originally intended, it served as a utopian base for our science, art, and fashion collaborators.  Shortly after the first island emerged, the other four were added: Shengri La Hope, Shengri La Peace, Shengri La Joy, and Shengri La Love. 

The past two years have seen a wide array of changes to Second Life, and to the activities and work we conduct in our regions in Second Life.  We’ve seen Windlight, sculptured prims, and the rise and fall of void sims as a business model. Despite all the changes we’ve seen, some things have remained the same in Shengri La. We continue to develop visually compelling, deeply immersive islands where our collaborators can work and engage.  We also stay true to our original covenant of providing kind sheltering wings and a safe haven for wanderers, some of whom stay with us as collaborators, others of whom are transient visitors.  Our programs have changed and expanded, and we are currently in the process of graduating our class of emerging avatar apparel designers, and developing new programs designed to move this important work forward.

In our current incarnation, we are an officially sanctioned Community Gateway, where we provide orientation to new residents with a corporate & enterprise focus.  Our research areas include examining how users become immersed in virtual worlds, how enterprise becomes virtual, and virtual world enterprise applications.

We are pleased to invite you to visit our islands.  Please come and experience the wonder and peace which is Shengri La, and to celebrate with us as we begin our third year of collaboration and exploration. 

You are invited to help us celebrate with the activities that best express our unique focus on virtual worlds:

7-8 am  Fairy Fashion Installation
10 am SLT Ode Butterfly Hunt
1-2 pm Kyle Beltran plays live 
3-3:30 pm, Founders Re-dedication
5-7 pm SLT Fairy Rave with Qee Nishi, DJane

+ 3 special art exhibits by the ever talented and prolix Callipygian Christensen

Details of our events follow:

7-8 am SLT Fairy Fashion Installation, featuring the work of emerging avatar apparel designer, Misteria Loon.  Misty’s gowns are ethereal and fragile and perfectly suited for the static display of fashion in the lovely woods of Shengri La.  We will show 8 of her gowns as well as a complete color run of her Flower gown.  Our volunteer models who have graciously offered their time to support Misty’s first show  reflect a range of body types and skin tones, which breaks from the usual  attenuated runway model look.  We would like to thank Jen Shikami of Seven’s Selections for donating wings to the fairy models, and Ellie BearCat, Georgianna Blackburn, Patricia Anne Daviau, Anarya Elderslie, Ahuva Heliosense, larae Magic, IndiaRose Muircastle, Sequoia Nightfire, Prissy Price, Chestnut Rau, Oura Scribe, Jaydie Sapeur, Neva Seljan, Elizabeth Tinsley for graciously donating their time for Misty’s Emergence Show.

10 am SLT An Ode butterfly Hunt – Shengri La is renowned as an estate with a regular monthly Ode hunt.  Ode jewelry collectors spread across our five islands in search of elusive jewelry-containing butterflies.  The Ode hunts are a wonderful way for new residents to learn to engage with the SecondLife interface.   Older residents make new friends and love to collect the fragile Ode jewelry created by master jeweler Random Calliope.

1-2 pm SLT  Kyle Beltran plays live on the Shengri La sim.  Kyle has been a visitor to Shengri La almost since the beginning. We are pleased to have his talent gracing our celebration.

3-3:30 pm SLT Founder Shenlei Flasheart (Shenlei Winkler in real life) will talk (very briefly) about why Shengri La was created and future directions.

5-7:00 pm SLT Fairy Rave with our longstanding DJ of choice, Qee Nishi.  Qee has been creating Trance sets for us  since December 2007, when we first ‘discovered’ her at Dance Island.  Qee will again play for us at a Fairy Rave, so plan your best fairy outfit and join us for two hours of the best Trance music on the grid.

During the day, all of our art galleries will be open to the viewing public. 

The Small Gallery will host a retrospective of Callipygian Christensen’s Shengri La images from the beginning to its current incarnation. 

Calli’s work will also be features in the Fashion Research Institute’s Information Center in Shengri La Hope, with a series of images from the renowned FRI Shengri La Spirit build in OpenSim (41,000+ prims of decadence).  

Last, Calli will reopen her main Gallery (The Main Gallery at Shengri La) with a fresh new exhibition of her latest photography throughout Second Life.

Please join us for one or all of these events.  We look forward to seeing you there.

Immersive-Friendly Message Bridge From OpenSim to Second Life

Working in OpenSim most of the day used to mean that my team members in SecondLife would be unable to contact me except via email or out of world messaging.  Anything requiring immediate response meant I had to move through various windows or log out of Shengri La OpenSim and into Second Life.  The process of departing one world to enter the other was breaking my immersion and cutting into my productivity. Couple this with my need for social stimulation, and it was clear we needed a solution in order to allow me to remain connected to core team members without impacting my productivity in OpenSim.

Enter the immersive-friendly Message Bridge. 

Anytime you have a solution that is simple for the user (me) to actually use, it’s a winner, regardless of what it looks like from the technologist’s point of view.  The Message Bridge is simple.  One simple chatted command, and  I’m connected to colleagues and friends in Second Life without breaking immersion in OpenSim.  I can stay in touch, handle issues as they arise, and remain safely tucked away in our OpenSim doing real work.  It’s a small advance in technology, but a huge social advance for people doing real work in OpenSim. 

People who are working in OpenSim usually have roots in Second Life, and are likely to have business contacts and actual business in Second Life as well.  It is a matter of business productivity and quality of the work environment that the two populations can communicate through messaging without breaking immersion.  It’s not teleporting, it’s not asset sharing, but it is a critical component to supporting actual workers doing actual work in these virtual worlds.  It lowers the barriers to doing business across worlds.

I would like to thank our lead developer for Black Dress Technology, justincc, for enabling immersive-friendly messaging between OpenSim and Second Life.  Since it so greatly improved the quality of my working environment in OpenSim, I asked Justin to donate it to the OpenSim community for all to use and enjoy. 

The release is hosted at    

http://forge.opensimulator.org/gf/project/psimb/frs/

It is our hope that others experience a similar improvement in their working environment and productivity  in OpenSim.

Best wishes,
Shenlei Winkler
CEO and Founder,
Fashion Research Institute, Inc.
& subsidiary Black Dress Technology, Inc.