Due to unexpected circumstances, The Tallinn Architecture Biennale announced a new winning proposal for its Installation Programme Competition: Fungible Non-Fungible Pavilion by iheartblob, a new "decentralized and systematic" approach towards architectural design which allows the community to be both designers and investors, contributing to a structure that evolves over time. TAB 2022 will take place during September – October 2022, with the opening week on the 7th–11th of September.
A few months ago, Australian duo Simulaa and Natalie Alima were announced as the winners of the 2022 Tallinn Architecture Biennale pavilion competition with an installation made of mushrooms. Titled Burlasite, the structure's base employed 3D printing technology that would have been covered with mycelia over time. The proposal highlighted the concept of repurposing and reusing local materials, and how humans can create sustainable designs with invention and environmental adaptation. However, unseen circumstances forced the duo to withdraw from the competition.
The newly selected winning proposal redefined the role of the architect, changing his purpose from "Master Builder" to "a system designer" who merges innovation and local craftsmanship to empower communities through the usage of blockchain. With the emergence of NFT's and AI, the pavilion, which is claimed to be the first ever blockchain-funded architecture initiative, would serve as a new architectural model that focuses on the community and environmental awareness.
This digital and physical integration allows the design of a pavilion to evolve in both mediums. Rather than designing and building the structure themselves, iheartblob created an NFT generative tool; a parametric setup that allows individuals to design and “mint” their own objects. The way the pavilion works is initially by providing a set of constraints, such as grid systems, predefined interlocking components, and timber materiality, in order to calculate the costs of material and fabrication sufficiently. Basically, every NFT minted by the tool funds a physical replica that is used in the pavilion. The digital objects can then be sold by the owners on secondary marketplaces as a means for the community designers to generate returns on their creations.
Eventually, the pavilion would be composed of unique parts created by different designers and owners, reflective of a broad and inclusive community. The application for designing a piece will go online as of May 1st until July 1st, when construction is set to begin. The installation will be built between July and August, on the green pedestrian area facing the Museum of Estonian Architecture, and will open to the public during the event's opening week on September 7th, and will remain installed until the next edition of the event in 2024.
Under the theme Edible. Or, the Architecture of Metabolism, the 6th edition of TAB explores ways in which the natural world can inform the circular economy and highlights the relationship between the natural world and the domain of cities and buildings. The event curators, architects Lydia Kallipoliti and Areti Markopoulou in collaboration with co-curator Ivan Sergejev, explained how the event explores how to “nourish local craftsmanship, better utilize available materials, respond to environments over long time scales and enhance bespoke design expression.”