March 15, 2022

The Virtual Sky's the Limit - Designing & Building in the Metaverse

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Key Takeaways

  • You’ve invested in a plot of land in the metaverse; now what will you do with it?

You've invested in a plot of land in the metaverse ; now what will you do with it? You might be asking yourself: what kinds of structures can be built in the metaverse and who can design them? When it comes to designing and building in the metaverse, the virtual sky's the limit.

In the physical world, gravity, tension, compression and other forces of physics are the ultimate dictators of what we can and cannot build and achieve. From the simplest one room structure to the tallest skyscraper in the world , design professionals must work within the laws of physics to take a design from concept to reality. Because of the realities of physics, a myriad of rules and regulations focused on protecting the health and safety of pedestrians and building occupants exist governing the design and construction of improvements on real estate. For example, to ensure safe and compliant development in New York City, the Department of Buildings issues and periodically updates its Construction Codes , consisting of technical volumes, such as the Building Code, as well as an administrative volume which contains permitting, licensing, fees, and other provisions applicable to each of the technical volumes. Other restrictions governing designing and building in the physical world serve different purposes, ranging from zoning regulations to rules aimed towards the preservation of important historical sites. The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, for example, publishes rules governing the processes, procedures and standards of the agency, including standards for work on properties that have been designated as landmarks. Because of the complexity of these safety considerations, rules and regulations (which vary from one jurisdiction to the next), owners and developers typically must hire licensed and experienced architects, engineers and other design professionals to design the improvements to be built on their property.

One of the greatest things about the metaverse, in contrast to the physical world, is that physics simply does not exist. If you can dream it, you can virtually build it. And you don't need to be a licensed design professional to do so. Last year, Krista Kim's Mars House , a beautifully designed futuristic zen home, became the first NFT digital home to exist. More recently, digital artist Andrés Reisinger and architect Alba de la Fuente minted Winter House , a clean, crisp and comforting NFT home set in a tranquil wintery forest. While many digital structures built in the metaverse so far largely draw inspiration from what could theoretically exist within the constraints of physical world, one daring new space in the metaverse has really pushed the limits of what can exist in a world without gravity. The Meeting Place , which claims to be the first interactive virtual reality environment NFT, is a physics-defying space created by artists Cyril Lancelin and Benny Or. Consisting of a base composed of bubblegum-like spheres formed into an inverted pyramid, topped with a second pyramid of pink concrete-like cylinders and rings, The Meeting Place is a four story structure floating through the clouds. It is designed to accommodate virtual events of up to 32 at a time.

While the laws of physics don't control construction and design in the metaverse, that doesn't mean that the metaverse is free from design restrictions entirely. In order for the various metaverse platforms, such as Decentraland, The Sandbox, and Spatial, to load quickly and reliably so that anyone can access these worlds from any web browser, each platform has developed a series of rules controlling what users can build. For example, in Decentraland a set of "scene limitations" has been established to improve performance in the metaverse. Among other things, these rules limit the number of elements allowed in a scene. And, much like the physical world, Decentraland users can only build within the boundaries of plots of land that they own (or have permission to build on).

If you're interested in trying your hand at designing & building in the metaverse, RENOVI , the first NFT marketplace for architects, 3D designers and developers, launched an exciting global virtual buildathon & competition. The Next Top Metaverse Build is open for submissions through March 31, 2022, with prizes up for grabs across ten contest tracks.

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