A global city and cosmopolitan hub, Milan is mainly recognised today as a fashion and economic center, widely coveted by visitors from around the world. It is the second most populated city in Italy and hosts some of the major fashion and design related events in the world. Milan also houses prestigious educational institutions, many of which are renowned for heritage and conservationist specialties.
The latter is quite relevant, seeing as the city's most recognisable tourist attractions are the gothic Duomo di Milano, Santa Maria delle Grazia or the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, amongst other classical and baroque sites. It's in fact this marriage of the beautifully crafted and often ornamental heritage with the modern and contemporary monuments that makes its unique style.
For the past couple of years, the metaverse has been gaining prominence, prompting architects to consider its implications for our relationship with the physical environment and how can architecture contribute to this new virtual space. Architecture in the metaverse is no longer a fringe subject, having been embraced by established firms. "The metaverse is where much of the architectural action and innovation will be happening in the coming period,"says Patrick Schumacher. Unbound from restraints such as physics, material properties and construction costs, the metaverse unlocked a new realm of architectural expression. The following looks at some of the various ways the profession engages with the expanding field of digital environments.
This week for the final Archdaily roundtable host Sara Kolata is being joined by Zaha Hadid Architects Principal Patrik Schumacher, Founder of the Techism Movement Krista Kim and an award-winning Hollywood and Silicon Valley media executive Joanna Popper to discuss ways Architects can benefit and profit from new digital opportunities in the Metaverse.
It is nearly impossible nowadays not to present accompanying renders when proposing a new project. No matter the method, software or style that is used, it is a valuable reference that bares more practical weight than one might think. Not only can it be one of the closest possible representations of the architect's vision, if approved, it can also become a promise to clients, investors, and the general public.
When it comes to works from renowned architects, the render becomes a critical reference to the project participants and to the expectant community. A lot of details can be developed and considered when creating the images. In most cases, special attention is brought to the lighting, materials, and context in order to make the most accurate representation possible.
Zaha Hadid Architects - ZHA has unveiled a virtual "libertarian micro-nation" in the metaverse titled The Liberland Metaverse, where residents can buy vacant plots centered around a curated urban core, and access them as avatars. The community features hyper-realistic districts that encourage urban self-governance and zones where the absence of urban planning "allows for a spontaneous order via a free-wheeling discovery process".
On the 24th of February 2022, Russia launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine. Set to become Europe’s largest refugee crisis and armed conflict in this century, so far, this war has mobilized people across the world in order to exert pressure on authorities and put a stop to the armed hostilities. Individuals, as well as institutions in the architectural field, have taken part in these acts of solidarity, issuing statements, condemning actions, and even halting their work in Russia. From the UIA to MVRDV to Russian Institutions such as Strelka, the architecture world is denouncing the acts of violence and supporting an immediate cease of fire.
Architecture may have its roots in sheltering humans from the elements, but that is not to say that architecture is for humans alone. Around the world, there are numerous examples of buildings and shelters designed by architects for other species. Some of these can be whimsical, such as the Dogchitecture exhibit by 10 Mexican architecture firms back in 2013, or the series of BowWow Haus kennels designed by over 80 architects back in 2017, including Zaha Hadid Architects. But others are designed for a more direct impact.
Following excavation and engineering works on Dnipro’s metro line in 2016, Zaha Hadid Architects has begun construction on three new metro stations. The Teatralna, Tsentalna, and Muzeina stations, all designed by the renowned architecture firm, will connect the residential, commercial, cultural, and academic institutions in Dnipro’s eastern districts with the city center and the Dnipro-Holovnyi railway station.
As the new year kicks off, we're taking a look ahead to the projects we're most looking forward to in 2022. With a mix of cultural and commercial programs, the designs are located across five continents, with many under construction for multiple years. Designed across a wide range of scales, they represent a mix of interconnected landscapes, museums, and new skyscrapers.
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.
After years of preparation, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, one of the most anticipated global events of this year, is finally nearing inauguration. The quadrennial international men's football championship is scheduled to be held in Qatar, the first time in an Arab country, from the 21st of November to the 18th of December 2022. Ever since FIFA announced that Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup back in 2010, preparations on a total of 8 stadiums have been in full force, especially since it well be held in a country with critical climate conditions.
The early stages of practicing architecture are often met with what many explain as "the slippery slope of being an architect", where expectations do not at all meet reality of the profession and gets worse as the experience progresses. With constant burnouts as a result of working overtime and on weekends on the account of “gaining experience”, extraordinary expectations, low wages, and physical and mental strains, the prestige of being an architect has evidently vanished with modern-day work conditions. So how can architects fight for their labor rights after years of exploitation and what is currently being done to ensure them?
Zaha Hadid Architects has announced the creation of its Employee Benefit Trust and the transition to employee ownership. Established by Zaha Hadid in 1980, the practice with studios in London and Beijing now comprises over 500 professionals taking forward the legacy of the renowned architect. The organizational shift will ensure that profits are reinvested back into the business, into facilities and equipment, benefiting the entire staff while allowing the practice to prioritize visionary architectural endeavours.
World Architecture Festival has revealed the winners for this year’s categories, highlighting buildings and landscapes completed across the world between 2019 and 2021. Chosen from almost 500 shortlisted projects from 62 countries, the winning projects showcase exemplary contributions to the built environment reflecting this edition’s theme: ‘Resetting the City: Greening, Health and Urbanism’. In addition to the completed buildings categories, the annual award also announced Copenhill, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group, as the 2021 World Building, while SLA was awarded Landscape of the Year for its design of Al Fay Park.
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.