Heritage Architecture in the Metaverse
by Greg Balondo
The Metaverse is the new virtual world — and it has yet to be explored. We already have virtual property ownership via NFTs, but it’s not just enough to create and build. We’ll need to consider what the Metaverse will mean to us as an experience and how we want architecture to shape that experience. This article explores ways to structure real-world buildings on the blockchain so they can be replicated in the Metaverse — hopefully leading towards exciting new possibilities!
What is Heritage Architecture
Heritage architecture is the preservation and restoration of buildings that were built to last. These buildings often date back to the beginning of civilization or are considered part of our collective history. Their significance to society can only be understood by knowing how they were built, what materials were used, how they were decorated, and what purpose they served at one point.
The importance of heritage architecture lies not only in its ability to reveal historical elements but also it serves as a reminder of our past and where we come from. Many people lack an essential piece of social identity today due to modern conveniences like digital media or mass communication devices such as smartphones. These devices offer only superficial glimpses into reality rather than a more profound understanding beyond surface appearances alone.
Architecture NFTs and the Metaverse
NFTs can potentially change how we think about and interact with our digital property. The fact that there are already over 1 million NFTs, with more being created every second, demonstrates the interest in owning things on the blockchain.
The Metaverse is an online virtual world that allows users to explore 3D environments by wearing VR goggles or using AR technology. It’s also one of the most popular ways people get into VR gaming because it allows them to create their characters and play games like ‘World of Warcraft’ within this environment.
The idea behind NFTs is simple: they allow anyone to own something not necessarily tangible (i.e., their digital works) without producing a physical version of the product. These assets are certified on the blockchain. That means inside these digital works is a singular, non-transferable data unit that is kept on a digital ledger utilizing blockchain technology to create proof of ownership. These goods can then be traded publicly online, so anyone can buy them.
The first-ever designs sold as NFTs will be considered digital artifacts, and their price will surely skyrocket in the long run, making them heritage architecture themselves. Only time could tell.
Preserving Heritage Architecture through the Metaverse
The Metaverse will enable you to buy, rent, and own heritage architecture. You can utilize the same technology used for virtual reality (VR) today to digitize buildings and make them available in the Metaverse.
The digitized architecture can then be shared with other people on a global scale. This can be done using existing technologies such as 3D scanning or 360-degree videos taken from above ground level. Once done, anyone who wants access (either physical or digital) can purchase it at a price determined by how much they value its rarity or originality. Curated NFT marketplaces such as Arkayv.com provides seamless access to these virtual properties and automatically link them to your favorite Metaverse app. For example, if you have a parcel of land at Decentraland.org, you can buy your virtual building at Arkayv and then integrate it into the app to appear on your digital plot of land.
What’s more enticing to this concept is that you can add magic to the experience. With the help of visual effects, you can alter the look of the architecture and show its ever-changing design throughout its history. For instance, you can go back to the time the Angkor Wat was newly constructed and have a whole experience of the grandiosity of the Khmer Empire.
We’ve barely begun to think about what the Metaverse will mean for us, and how architecture and built design can shape its significance in our history. It’s important to remember that virtual worlds are still very new. There’s only just been a handful of years since we could start thinking about how these things will work. But with a growing public discourse about it, we can potentially make the Metaverse something that we all want in our lives eventually.