Architects in the virtual real estate market

Since the rebranding of Facebook in “Meta” the spotlight has been turned on the opportunities for applying the Metaverse in many sectors, includingarchitecture. The metaverse refers to a immersive reality which arises from the combination of virtual and augmented reality, social media, online games and 3D spaces.

Simply put, the metaverse is a virtual world where people can work, socialize and play in spaces inspired by the real world by means of avatars.

The term was coined by Neil Stephenson in “Snow Crash”, a science fiction novel from 1992, where the author imagined a virtual reality-based successor to the Internet. And if for most of its existence, Internet it was a 2D experience disconnected from perception of a spacewith the metaverse that could change.

Metaverse and product design: leading the way in fashion and luxury


Today, economies around the world are going through a significant shift towards digitisation, also accelerated by the Covid-19. In recent years, physical stores have changed, as have offices, workspaces and schools, veering towards virtual forms. However, the metaverse might introduce a point of encounter between physical and digital spacechanging needs and desires of design and giving life to experiences “phygital”, where real and digital merge.

First of all, the sector made an incursion into this territory fashion and luxury goods: brands such as Balenciaga, Moncler, Louis Vuitton and Burberry are landed on the metaverse platforms to showcase products and interact with customers.

So many designers are trying their hand at making products to use, buy and sell in the metaverse, such as clothing and digital accessories. According to Morgan Stanley, the metaverse market, just for luxury and fashion, could reach i $50 billion by 2030.

The NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and social gaming they could expand the total luxury market by more than 10% in eight years and increase profits by about 25%.

Metaverse and virtual real estate: the turning point for architects

Metaverse and real estate


One of the emerging markets with the advent of the metaverse is that virtual real estate. According to some surveys, investors are already spending millions on NFTs to buy virtual properties. Emergen Research has estimated the market value of the Metaverse at $48 billion in 2020 and expects it to reach sales of $829 billion in 2028.

Beyond the investments that will prove more profitable in the long term, certainly the number of virtual properties will grow and this could represent a turning point for architects and the whole sector.

In addition to private “homes” and “offices”, there will be entertainment spaces in the metaverse such as virtual amusement parks, theatres, cinemas, art galleries, concert halls, shopping malls, sports arenas

The spheres of the metaverse they don’t have the limitations of the real world such as time, budget or physical space. For this, they give carte blanche for architects that can give full rein to the imagination. This, in turn, could reinvigorate traditional architecture, leading to a futuristic architectural renaissance.

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The architecture of the future is human-centred

Metaverse and architecture


Human-centered architecture is not a trend, but a solution-based approach that has the goal of optimize the relationship between people and buildings to meet the needs of a community. Buildings designed in this way create solutions for problems and opportunities by focusing on people’s needs, contexts, behaviors and emotions.

Built on concepts from ethnography, sociology, and cognitive psychology, human-centered architectural designs are the result of a holistic understanding of their users.

In the case of The Lantern, a community of Ohio residents, the architects designed for senior citizens suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s, a center similar to the typical neighborhood of the 1930s and 1940s, where most of the residents have come of age. This therapeutic environment, complete with porches, rocking chairs, turf and a fiber-optic ceiling that transitions from day to night sky, stimulates lost memories and is shown to reduce anxiety, irritability and depression, common experiences for those living with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Metaverse: goldmine for designers and architects

Designers and architects in the metaverse


The metaverse is probably one of the most exciting digital advances ever and could lead to significant changes in the architectureopening to new economic flows and business models: the metaverse allows to sell the projects as “content”, rather than waiting a long time to see their commitment materialize in the realization of a building.

In an industry like construction, still plagued by inefficiencies, long lead times, hard-to-obtain permits, and social hierarchies, architectural design in the metaverse can shift power from large corporations to individual architects.

Especially, considering the fact that the digital goods market is growing twice faster than that of physical goods, the metaverse may be the new gold mine for designers and architects.

How do you design in the metaverse?

Designing in the metaverse


The design process works like in real life, with a client brief and early design work before the concept is ‘locked in’ and built. There are no engineers in the metaverse, but developers are important to verify that what has been designed actually works (for example that the “doors can open”) and that the design is interactive.

Metaverse architects must be creative: free from the physical limitations of real life, the challenge is to come up with something totally new

The profession will need to retrain to learn to code and understand how these platforms work: the sound it is important, like the noise what a door does when it opens, as does the “storytellingof what a building will be used for.

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By Cultur-e


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Architects in the virtual real estate market