Virtual architecture firms are springing up to fulfil these dreams but at a price.
Companies like Microsoft and Meta (formerly Facebook) have invested billions in the metaverse, an interactive version of the internet that integrates business and entertainment. Digital land grabs like the Sandbox and Decentraland have attracted a lot of attention from investors recently, with portions on these platforms selling for up to $4.3 million.
A new question arose: What do you do with all this digital real estate? With clients including Sotheby’s and ConsenSys, the makers of the MetaMask cryptocurrency wallet, Voxel Architects has created over 40 digital structures this year.
A virtual gallery was launched by Sotheby’s in June. Banksy and the Bored Ape Yacht Club, an elite group of NFT owners, were the subject of a previous exhibition. There was also a virtual gallery and exhibits that were created as well.
In contrast to real-world architecture, which is bound by human resources, money, and physics, in the metaverse, almost anything is possible. In the digital Sotheby’s show, the Bored Ape Yacht Club transformed the whole second floor into a swamp full of the project’s distinctive primate For ConsenSys’ new metaverse headquarters, Voxel was asked to build an amphitheatre with a floating bar and a Roman amphitheatre. Decentraland-based structure MetaMask hired Voxel to renovate and add a forest to mark the milestone.
There is a lot of overlap between architecture and video games when it comes to creating something fresh and exciting, says Voxel Architects’ chief design officer George Bileca.
The land development process in the metaverse is quite similar to the procedure in the real world. Voxel delivers a questionnaire to the consumer after getting a request. Sketches and modifications of the project are drawn up once a customer is given an estimate. Metaverse platform physical constraints, such as the size of a digital parcel, are addressed by a 3D modeller when an architectural design is completed. Prior to a final launch, a developer from the firm will design and code features like opening doors or running elevators. According to Bileca, a project typically takes roughly a month to get from concept to launch.
Bileca explains that a design firm has an architect, a builder, and an engineer who work together to create the project. “Engineers have been replaced by programmers.”
With the help of NFT Studios CEO Leandro Bellone, Bileca created Voxel Architects in 2019.
In the metaverse platform Cryptovoxels, two years ago, the two men launched an NFT automobile business. The style of their car dealership caught the attention and attracted new consumers. One concept artist and 12 3D modellers make up the current staff of 20 at Voxel Architects. Project enquiries have risen since Facebook rebranded as Meta and stated in October that it will invest $10 billion in its metaverse business.
“Sometimes, life throws you a curveball,” Bileca said in an interview with Fortune.
According to Bileca, the company used to get around 10 design quote queries each week, but now it gets about 30 per week. According to Bellone, a project might cost anything from $10,000 to $300,000.
By forcing people to immerse themselves in virtual environments, “Covid accelerated growth,” Bellone said.
Voxel Architects are being challenged by a growing number of independent designers and new metaverse design groups. Over 20 design businesses, according to Bileca, are vying for a piece of the multi-trillion-dollar pie that investor Cathie Wood refers to as the “Internet of Things.”
By the end of the year, the business wants to quadruple its workforce and tweak real-world building concepts to develop virtual twins in the metaverse.
Bileca added that the disease had spread. “Virtual is the new normal.” “Everyone wants a piece of this action.”