Over the past year, NFTs have entered the realm of architecture, prompting conversations over the role of the profession in the future digital economy. From the design of digital real-estate to exhibitions and architecture events exploring its value for the practice and established architecture firms embracing the new medium, NFTs have been embraced by the profession as the promise of a new form of creative production. Discover a round-up of architecture's experiments with NFTs so far, together with a series of Archdaily articles shedding light on the topic.
Tallinn Architecture Biennale Announces First-Ever Blockchain-Funded Pavilion as New Winning Installation
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. 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.
Related ArticleArchitecting the Metaverse
OMA / Shohei Shigematsu, together with artists Charlotte Taylor and Nicholas Préaud, created a series of NFTs inspired by an underwater sculpture designed for the ReefLine project. Commissioned by Aorist for its climate-forward NFT marketplace, the video NFT Coral Arena unfolds a virtual narrative of the monument, simulating the evolution of the future physical artwork from an abstract object to being the support of an underwater ecosystem. The NFTs were unveiled during Miami Art Week, and proceeds from their sale will be donated for the completion of the ReefLine project.
Zaha Hadid Architects have presented "NFTism", a virtual art gallery at Art Basel Miami that explores architecture and social interaction in the metaverse. The gallery features spatial designs created by ZHA that focus on user experience, social interaction, and "dramaturgical" compositions, combined with MMO (massively multiplayer online game) and interaction technological services.
Mars House designed in May 2020 by Artist Krista Kim, has become the first sold digital NFT home in the world. The 3D digital file that can be experienced in virtual reality, was just acquired. Rendered using Unreal Engine, a software used to create video games, the house can be experienced in VR, but could also be experienced through augmented reality (AR) environment in apps. A structure comprised of light, Mars House generates a healing atmosphere, with a musical accompaniment by Jeff Schroeder of The Smashing Pumpkins.
In addition, Archdaily has been exploring the potential of NFTs for the field of architecture in a series of articles.
Imagine yourself welcoming your colleagues to a business meeting at your home. The table is set next to the infinity pool, under the shadow of a huge curved metal structure reminiscent of Zaha Hadid's most audacious designs except for the complete absence of pillars. Hovering in the air, the roof completes an idyllic setting for this mansion on a rocky hillside. The house was recently acquired as an NFT and is digitally accessed via encrypted code. That's right, this is your virtual home. The physical one is a small 40m2 apartment in the center of one of the busiest and most polluted cities in the global south.
Nike recently acquired RTFKT, a design studio that was founded in Jan 2020, and is known for its virtual “metaverse-ready sneakers and collectibles”. Metaverse land purchases are making headlines with multi-million dollar price tags. We’ve also seen mainstream adoption for NFT art this year and the sales are expected to surge to $17.7 billion by the end of 2021. Beneath the hype and frenzy, we can spot a fundamental shift that unlocks a new creator economy.
Over the past year, there’s been a rush to buy properties, art, and land- but all of it exists in a virtual world called the metaverse. Although this world existed long before the pandemic, lockdowns propelled the online world to a new level, catching the attention of private buyers and brokerages alike who began to funnel tier money into this augmented reality. But how did this world emerge, what does the future hold, and can anyone join the virtual world?