The Metaverse and the future of spatial design
Updated: Oct 30, 2021
First introduced in 1992 in the world of gaming, the concept of a Metaverse has gradually expanded and reached the social networks, culminating on October 28`th 2021 when Facebook company itself has oficially changed its name into Meta
What is the Metaverse ?
According to Wikipedia, Metaverse is a speculative future iteration of the Internet, made up of persistent, shared, 3D virtual spaces linked into a perceived virtual universe. The metaverse in a broader sense may not only refer to virtual worlds, but Internet as a whole, including the entire spectrum of augmented reality
How can this impact our buildings?
first is that everything influences our built environment, because architecture is literally a crystallization product of our society. Second is that the Metaverse will directly or indirectly strengthen the link between the virtual and the physical reality and will create an entire ecosistem of products and services from both worlds.
Third, is that we are already facing a historical shift due to the Pandemia which redefined the concept of remote in working, learning, teaching, playing, and as much as many people want to believe that when the crisis is over everything will go back to how it was, I believe, (and I am not alone) that many things are here to stay.
In addition to these points there are also a few other concepts that have gain ground in recent years such as the NFT`s (non fungible tokens), smart homes, cloud computing, AI and digitalisation of the construction industry.
What challenges are we facing?
What I am trying to express here is that we are in the middle of a paradigm shift and this is a moment when innovation can lead to benefic and rich environments or generate questionable (side) effects for people as individuals and for the society in general.
I think that one of the first aspects that we have to look into is of course, the very obvious problem of how we expand our presence in the virtual world without disconnecting ourselfs from the physical context which we inhabit. This is in terms of physiological, psychological, cultural and social needs.
How will our cities look like if we can do a lot more activities from home and what will our homes be like? How will the cyber worlds feed our deep rooted need for the natural? What will be the role of architects and designers in such a context? These are just a few questions that we need to ask. The only thing that I know for sure is that just opposing the change is not a solution.