“All the physical spaces that we (architects) design – buildings, interiors and cities are born as metaspaces, and we call them 3D models”. With this statement Brian Jencek, director of planning at San Francisco-based architecture firm HOK, narrows the boundaries between the current way of designing and the future of architecture in the metaverse. According to him, we are not that far from this technology, since we already use the same tools that visual designers use to create realistic environments, such as Unity, Twin motion and Blender.
A developer in NYC purchased the first-ever non-fungible token (NFT) Office building in New York City. "Located" at 44 West 37th Street, the 4700 square meters NFT serves as an immutable digital asset that points to transforming how we design, build, operate, and monetize our spaces with only "one-click". The 16-story building was created by spatial intelligence company Integrated Projects and questions the function of architecture in Real Estate and the Metaverse.
MetaMundo has launched its second three-dimensional NFT, an ocean-adjacent villa, complete with an NFT gallery, meditation pavilions, and entertaining areas. The structure was designed by American architect and hybrid-creative Luis Fernandez to become an immersive space for meeting, playing, and relaxing. Through this project, the architect aims to explore the changing paradigm of building in the metaverse. As laws of physics become irrelevant and materials are reduced to surface images, he asks the question what will architecture mean for the metaverse, how will we experience it and how will we use it?
The undisputed protagonist of the last few years has been the Metaverse. The news is already flooding the world of video games and technology. Today, architects and designers are increasingly aware of the responsibility they have in leading this construction of the virtual environment. But what is the architecture of the Metaverse, how is it designed, how is it built?
Imagine the daily life of an architect today. There is a demand for a new project, a blank canvas full of countless possibilities. The creative delight is about to be started. The main constraints are established: brief, analysis of the terrain and surroundings, solar orientation and prevailing winds. The first sketches are created, always combined with structural knowledge, even if basic, fundamentally determining for those who live in the gravitational acceleration of 9.807 m/s².
Clinging to Familiarity in the Metaverse: Are We More Likely to Accept Architecture When it Looks Familiar?
We live in a world where the experienced, remembered, and imagined, as well as different moments in space and time concerning the past, present, and future are inseparably blended. As of recent, we are being offered various mediums to gain access to other planes of existence, utilizing immersive technologies like virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), creating a pathway to the metaverse in which we are transported to spaces that are capable of feeling more ‘real’ than anything we presently experience.
7 Interviews with Architecture Professionals Discussing Digitization, the Metaverse and the Future of Architecture
Architecture as a profession is both deeply rooted in the past and driven by innovation. During the past few years, we have seen technology advancing at an unprecedented pace, developing tools and systems that change the way we understand the world. Digital spaces are becoming an accessible reality, as the metaverse is promising to enhance human interaction. Other digital tools such as robotic construction technologies, AI-generated images, and immersive virtual-reality equipment are likely to have a direct impact on the construction industry.
Japanese digital consultancy Gluon plans to preserve the Nakagin Capsule Tower Building in Tokyo, one of the most representative examples of Japanese Metabolism by Kisho Kurokawa. The “3D Digital Archive Project” is using a combination of measurement techniques to record the iconic building in three dimensions and recreate it in the metaverse. The tower is currently being demolished due to the structure's precarious state and incompatibility with current seismic standards, as well as the general state of decay and lack of maintenance.
As part of an initiative for Tequila José Cuervo, Rojkind Arquitectos presents its new and first project of the metaverse under the name "Metadestilería" (Metadistillery) which is based on a design exercise that responds to the function of objects with respect to human needs within specific contexts with the challenge of creating unique experiences through objects and architecture.
Daniel Arsham and Andrés Reisinger Among Acclaimed Designers of Newly-Launched Metaverse Real Estate Development
The Alexander Team and metaverse real estate development firm Everyrealm, have announced the launch of "The Row", a private, members-only metaverse real estate community featuring architecture designed by world-renowned artists. The Row will be launched on the metaverse world-building platform Mona, and will feature limited-edition series of 30 3D architectural landmarks, each sold as a 1-of-1 non-fungible token (NFT) designed by artists including Daniel Arsham, Misha Kahn, Andrés Reisinger, Alexis Christodoulou, Six N. Five, and Hard.
Along with the thousands of designers and craftsmen that took part in this year's Milan Design Week to showcase their innovative creations, renowned architects from across the world were also present in the Italian city to share how they tackle the challenges faced by our environment and societies today.
Everybody talks about Metaverse, but hardly anyone agrees on what it is. For the moment, it is still enigmatic, however, it seems like its ambiguity is its strength. Not a day goes by without a new article or a video on this subject, trying to convince people that Metaverse will inevitably become a part of our daily lives soon. Architects and designers are essential parties to the ongoing discussion as it is a spatial innovation that requires the Internet to be redesigned as a 3D environment.
We are still at the dawn of the Metaverse, the next wave of the Internet. The current “mainstream” Metaverse platforms serve as experimental containers to host the wildest dreams of virtual worlds where we are supposed to unleash the imagination. However, from a spatial design perspective, they have so far been lame and ordinary. Without the constraints in the physical world, how do we draft the urban blueprints in the metaverse? I believe metaverse planners can find inspiration from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, in which he revealed a poetic and mathematical approach to “urban planning” in the imaginary worlds.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) has collaborated with Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) for the 'Meta-Horizons: The Future Now' exhibition in Seoul, Korea. Designed by ZHA to promote the instigation and exchange of new ideas and to showcase innovative technologies and media, the inaugural exhibition of DDP’s new Design Museum explores ZHA’s work across multiple fields, from digital technology to artificial intelligence and virtual reality, featuring the firm's recent designs, process, and research that incorporates immersive technologies and new fabrication techniques. The exhibition will be on display from 26 May - 18 September 2022.
The digitisation of architecture and design projects has been going on for some time now and has increased even more, largely due to the global pandemic. To hear talk of the metaverse, the NFT or the digital twins seems to be commonplace at this time, when the digital economy is booming and where architects and designers who seek to move from the physical world to the virtual world are beginning to proliferate. But will virtuality be the future of architectural visualisation?
As Antoine Picon describes in Architecture and the Virtual Towards a new Materiality? : "An architectural project is indeed a virtual object. It is all the more virtual that it anticipates not a single built realization but an entire range of them. …Whereas the architect used to manipulate static forms, he can now play with geometric flows. Surface and volumes topological deformations acquire a kind of evidence that traditional means of representation did not allow.”