Friday, November 4, 2011

From my Teleports List: Seiya's Orchard Home

BuildCity - Verdant Valley - Seiya's Orchard Home (Plot #24)
Builder: Seiya
Teleport: BuildCity 6.212n 28.272e 0.3a 0
Jump Point: ^jump Seiya's Home

While I was performing maintenance on BuildCity last week, one of my goals was to memorialize Seiya's work in the world.  Following her passing, many of her builds were visited and highlighted by the community, and I expect this one may not have gotten much attention due to its location.

Seiya was among the first set of builders in BuildCity's first (and only) competitive session during the Virtual Game Festival 2010.  BuildCity challengers players to create a build within a themed community, and the builder is assigned specific tasks to guide the themes and motifs of the build, or otherwise add to the challenge of creating the build.  Seiya picked an especially challenging plot, where the task given was to build a two-story home within an orchard... in 3 hours.

When I was generating tasks for the plots in Verdant Valley, I expected this plot to be filled by a simple wood home and some terrible sprite trees.  Seiya took that thought and turned it on its head, and then crafted a building under it.  In something of a poetic gesture, Seiya wasn't satisfied with the house and the orchard being two separate components.  Why couldn't the orchard BE the house?

And so it was -- in three hours, a metallic outcropping appeared on the site, covered by the canopy of many small trees on the roof.  The build is then bisected near its midpoint, and a secondary hill offers some geometric contrast at an angle.  Seiya's design is brilliant not simply in its quick conception, but as well as its execution, and to me the exhibition of this particular piece is not the piece itself, but rather the designer.  Seiya's sharp "design wit" in the face of challenge, combined with the masterful crafting of geometry, worked with an intense ethic in a small window of time to produce an intriguing concept and execute it with extreme clarity.

A metallic outcropping terminates the hill.

The Orchard Home is a good example of the intrigue of her work -- her ideas, that they were executed in her builds and that you could clearly see what she was going for in the builds themselves.  Take some time to sample more of her work, and you'll notice this trend.  Her ideas, concepts, motivations, and even humor can be found in the carefully sculpted geometries that she made, and they take on a different identity because of that.  They are expressive of Seiya's personality, and since the time of her passing this is all the more apparent in her work.  We may never share another conversation, but in the Orchard Home, I can see her ideas.  Her brilliance.

A back staircase offers access to the orchard above.

In that sense, perhaps 'memorialize' was not quite the correct term earlier, because even though Seiya may be gone... what she left behind is more characteristic of who she was than any monument or obituary could hope to be. And so it is, I've decided to write this today instead of making a marker in BuildCity, and whenever I visit the Orchard Home, I will be able to enjoy the beautiful expression that my friend left behind.

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