The Metaverse Architecture Biennale (MAB) recently concluded, marking an important milestone in the evolution of architectural practice.
The event was hosted by Search Space, Metancy, and W3rlds and featured top firms such as Zaha Hadid Architects, Spaces DAO, iheartblob, and PLP Architecture. These companies have embarked on a journey into the metaverse, leaving the constraints of traditional design to explore new possibilities. The theme of “Being of the Future” set the tone and encouraged participants to envision extraordinary virtual pavilions within Decentraland and his W3rlds.
The 1st Metaverse Architecture Biennale will be held at Decentraland from September 21 to 24, 2023. The event will feature more than 30 futuristic pavilions, live music, parties and more, with the theme “Being of the Future”.#MAB2023 #Metaverse architecture pic.twitter.com/ztrP4rlT8X
— CRUX | NFTs and Metaverse (@CRUX_NFTs) September 20, 2023
Bridging the real and virtual architectural worlds
The Biennale represented a paradigm shift for architects and designers, challenging them to extend their expertise into the digital realm. The event attracted more than 25,000 online visitors who experienced the seamless fusion of reality and virtual innovation through virtual 3D avatars. Unlike historic World's Fairs, this digital expo allows for instant teleportation between pavilions, eliminating the need for physical travel.
Also read: MeetKai and Metastadium bring FIFA games to the Metaverse
A variety of online events, including a lively virtual dance party and public lectures, contributed to the success of the fair. Co-organizer and curator Sergey Nadtochiy aims to redefine architecture's role in the metaverse, and that goal resonated throughout the event. The talks, led by industry leaders like Patrick Schumacher of Zaha Hadid Architects, explored the lack of traditional architectural barriers in the Metaverse, particularly the avoidance of NIMBYISM. These discussions highlighted the potential for unique and creative spaces to emerge on this new digital frontier.
Breaking new ground in virtual real estate
The Metaverse Architecture Biennial coincides with a virtual real estate boom within the Metaverse. This digital environment is rapidly evolving, with investors using their own cryptocurrencies to acquire and develop virtual land. These developments range from commercial spaces and public plazas to theme parks and private residences, illustrating the diverse possibilities of the Metaverse.
The festival also explored the intersection of architecture and other digital realms. His talk on digital-only fashion for architects and the role of marketing and business in Web3 provided insight into how these disciplines can integrate and thrive within the Metaverse platform. Discussions featuring pioneers from various fields provided a holistic perspective on the new digital culture and its impact on future architectural endeavors.
Historical perspective and future outlook
The idea of a digital world fair is not entirely new. In 1996, Internet 1996 World Expo Similar feats were attempted, albeit with the limited technology of the time. Platforms like Second Life, which feature user-driven economies and digital currencies, also laid the foundation for the current and future metaverse. The Metaverse Architecture Biennale is therefore the culmination of these past efforts, demonstrating how far digital innovation has come and hinting at its future trajectory.
Attendees of the four-day event enjoyed a total of 60 immersive experiences with more than 30 futuristic pavilions, live music, and unique performances. These activities aimed not only to showcase digital prowess, but also to engage the community in meaningful discussions. Topics ranged from Web3 business trends to the rise of digital fashion, and were led by notable Web3 pioneers from UN Studio, Zaha Hadid, Artisant, MetaTrekkers, and HWKN.