While the beacon of architectural development has reached the higher summit still, the way architects design, conceptualize and visualize is an ever-evolving process. The architectural arena has grown from the heights of marking pencils and paper to creating sand houses among clouds. The virtual world is ditching the long said journey of the hand-drafted drawing to the inception of computers and technology into the field of everything we are using and working with presently. Virtual architecture, Metaverse, NFT, and virtual reality are somewhat buzzwords trending every month nowadays. 

Is becoming the full time virtual architects the next thing in the architectural industry - Sheet1
Metaverse and  Architects_©www.ie.edu

The major shift from physical outreach to virtual exponentials has made the real estate industry look for newer opportunities. The retail sector transformed them from brick stores to highly accessible online stores and boomed the industry. Now because we don’t have stores to build as architects but it’s our responsibility to provide a similar experience to the user on that website. Big names like Balenciaga have launched their fall collection in a video game, giving the fashion industry a new call over the virtual world. Digital items are already a $10 billion market, increasing with every rising sun. Similarly, conferencing companies like Zoom have shown exponential growth in pandemic years and presented a new flow of air in the old greased work culture. The industries like gaming, fashion, Hollywood, and crypto are the firsts to introduce metaverse in their work culture. 

Is becoming the full time virtual architects the next thing in the architectural industry - Sheet2
Virtual  Architects_©www.ie.edu
Is becoming the full time virtual architects the next thing in the architectural industry - Sheet3
Virtual reality increasing architectural possibilities_©www.ie.edu

However, if we simplify the metaverse concept and ask our clients, Will you be willing to buy a virtual building? The building of your thoughts is beyond the constraints of the physical construction world and exists only in virtual reality, which may be an image or a video. The virtual architects sell these virtual buildings as NFTs, which are non-fungible tokens as buildings to their clients. With this, the design profession has introduced digitalization and commoditization of the unbuilt environment as virtual reality. Building, furniture, art, decor, interiors, and urban environment are not just the solid terms that have existed in the physical world, but also the virtual world. The Barcelona-based designer Andres Reisinger slashed her hands over an outstanding deal of half a million dollars via sale on Nifty gateway (one of the many online platforms selling digital assets) after selling a range of virtual furniture like couches, drawers, and office chairs. Globally known firms like Zaha Hadid Architects and a few more are diving into the ocean of virtual architectural reality to p. From the Evelyn Grace Academy in London to the Sheikh Zayed Bridge in Abu Dhabi are the structures that took Zaha Hadid’s architecture and design firm immense success and fame. It’s high time to shift our time, technology, economics, and creativity into the metaverse. Presently the metaverse has just started to show its potential for empowering global collaboration regardless of boundaries.

Zaha Hadid Architects’ Virtual Gallery_©www.medium.com

The crucial question or take of architects over such topics is how we can be present in the virtual architectural world and the categories we can opt for as metaverse architects.

1. Define your Niche

It’s necessary to define your own set of qualities and areas where you wish to work and find yourself most engaged. Defining your niche could be the first step to starting in the virtual world. It could be furniture, interiors, urban design, etc. To have a broader look but concise working for successful learning will help build a style you can own. Championing unique perspectives and diverse backgrounds will help you stand out in the field.

2. Learn from the Gaming platform

Gaming and similar fields are the best way to look and learn if you wish to have hype in the virtual world experiences and working process. 

3. Look for inspiration

In new fields fostering a continual growth mindset is important. By adopting a design culture that includes iterations and improvements. Attend conferences and workshops along with constant visits to media platforms like Pinterest, Behance, design boom, etc. Along with this, you can also connect with people of similar interests on other platforms to get inspiration and learn from success stories or failure stories. With this also look for routinely provided constructive criticism. 

4. Start from small

To grab a stable outlook on any approach, it’s important to start from small. With this, the idea is not to hold your broader vision but to make you realize that small steps will always contribute to higher outcomes. It’s important to first turn yourself in some internship or freelancing work before you put a leap of faith in taking this as your full-time job.

5. Keep learning as you grow

Learning is an ever-evolving process and like the sun never forgets rising we also should never end the thirst for learning. Having a good hand on software and media platforms like Maya, Blender, Adobe editors, 3D max and a lot more will only be going to elevate your profile. It’s suggestive to always keep looking for courses or workshops to have an up-to-date technical profile.

References

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Available at: https://www.ie.edu/uncover-ie/the-metaverse-architects-and-designers-going-virtual-to-create-new-worlds/

  1. Overstreet, K., 2021. ArchDaily. [Online]

Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/959475/would-you-pay-for-virtual-architecture-what-the-nft-craze-means-for-the-future-of-the-design-profession?ad_medium=widget&ad_name=related-article&ad_content=968905

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  1. SAMAHA, B., 2020. BAZAAR. [Online]

Available at: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/fashion/fashion-week/a34892239/baleciaga-video-game-fall-2021-collection/#:~:text=This%20weekend%2C%20the%20French%20label,for%20its%20fall%202021%20collection.

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  1. Stinson, L., 2022. Archdaily. [Online]

Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/975897/how-will-the-metaverse-be-designed

[Accessed 06 2022].

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Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/968905/architecting-the-metaverse

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Author

Rahat Khanna is an architectural student by profession & a serendipitous explorer by a person. She accompanies architecture and writings as a medium to research, evaluate, analyze and contemplate minute details in architectural reign for sustainably intelligent solutions. Her passion for words came from reading books and made her resourceful.

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