Metaverse might be one of the buzzwords everywhere right now. It will, without a doubt, replace the age of the Internet. 

As far as architects are concerned, the metaverse will be a sandbox for them. But there’s one slight catch – who we count as architects will probably change over time. 

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©Unifty

The concept of the metaverse is not something new, but it has recently come to light as a result of Mark Zuckerberg’s new venture. The newly renamed Facebook as a Meta is doing its best to transcend into the metaverse and it has created quite a lot of buzz in the present day. People have dubbed it “internet 2.0.” 

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Metaverse_©Subspace

The concept of a Metaverse was conceived long ago. Facebook knew it was going to be revolutionary. Over time, we’ll be able to access the ‘metaverse’ constantly, extending our sense of sight, hearing, and touch. We’ll also be able to mix digital objects into the real environment and enter fully immersive 3D environments whenever we want.

Snow Crash_©Biblio.com

Neal Stephenson is credited with creating the idea of the metaverse back in 1992. He published a book named Snow Crash in 1992 that used the term for the first time. Additionally, we come across the concept of cryptocurrency and NFTs. The metaverse will have the same effect as the internet.

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Metaverse & Matrix movie_©Inverse

Every time films have portrayed a metaverse, whether it is in the Matrix or Ready Player One, we are asking: is it because the real-world people live in is not good enough? Is that why we are ignoring the existing world and constructing an artificial one? We need to evaluate how we create this world and the intentions of the people who are working on it. 

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©Mars House

Architects in this new world will be different. The laws of reality, including gravity, will not apply, giving rise to new possibilities. Thus, the definition of what constitutes a building will probably change, as well as our sense of who architects are. 

We are architects who build projects that will last for decades and perhaps even longer. We work with light and shadow, we use gravity to our advantage, and we design places that are in harmony with nature. Creating a cohesive world out of context and utilizing the resources takes years to master. All of this will be of little use in the metaverse since the architects of the metaverse will be purely concerned with form. There might be a group of young people designing the metaverse who have never received a traditional architectural education.

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©Karisman

We have been creating simulated buildings and 3D models on computers for some time now, and that’s something that we’ve been doing. The architects just need a shift in perspective to build in the metaverse. A critical point to note is that these 3D models were developed to serve as guides for the real-world. The 3D models were only a part of the overall process, not the final product. A further difference will be how we design our buildings. A city in the metaverse will not resemble the one we know today. A world where buildings will be explored as pure pieces of art. 

In a metaverse, architectural aspects are going to change as the functions of buildings could change. The primary objective of architecture is to provide shelter and facilitate our daily activities.

A metaverse architect must integrate knowledge from multiple fields, including user interfaces, content, even game design. With the advent of the metaverse, the world of architecture is now open to a whole new group of professionals.

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Design with VR_© Micke Tong

The future of architectural education in this virtual age must therefore go beyond just history and construction techniques. A new generation of architects will also need to be familiar with new technologies, such as 3D modelling and digital media.

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Somnium Space Map_©Somnium Times

It is expected that this decade is going to act as a transition period for the coming era of the metaverse. We can create virtual reality versions of buildings that preserve and recreate historic buildings; this process has been accelerated with the popularity of NFTs. So, we had heard about artwork being sold over NFTs. Some platforms have already begun selling virtual parcels of land that people can own, like Somnium Space and Decentraland.

People can participate in virtual worlds by exhibiting their artwork, walking with friends, visiting buildings, and participating in other different activities. Despite the platform’s infancy, this is certainly an interesting and profitable niche for designers. They can utilize their real-world design skills in the virtual world. For architects, the meta universe is a paradise far from the constraints of the real world, a land full of possibilities.

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Metaverse era_©Minutehack

We are influenced by how things operate in the real world when we interpret how they might work in virtual space. As the physical and virtual domains become interconnected, architecture becomes of ever greater importance!

We are entering a new era of metaverse!

References: 

  1. FivD. 2022. Architect’s dive into the Metaverse – FivD. [online] Available at: <https://fivd.io/architects-dive-into-the-metaverse/> [Accessed 21 January 2022].
  2. ArchDaily. 2022. Architecting the Metaverse. [online] Available at: <https://www.archdaily.com/968905/architecting-the-metaverse#:~:text=For%20architects%2C%20the%20metaverse%20is,of%2Da%2Dkind%20assets.> [Accessed 21 January 2022].
  3. CoinYuppie: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Metaverse, NFT, DAO, DeFi, Dogecoin, Crypto News. 2022. How does an architect open the door to the Metaverse?. [online] Available at: <https://coinyuppie.com/how-does-an-architect-open-the-door-to-the-metaverse/> [Accessed 21 January 2022].
Author

Kishan Thakkar is an architect based in Ahmedabad exploring creative outlets and entrepreneurship. He is an avid learner who has a penchant for research, analysis and understanding different fields within the architecture and aspires to promote sustainable development. Discipline is the key to balance his diversified interest and work routine.

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