NFT Architecture and how it is changing our profession - LePolus

NFT Architecture and how it is changing our profession

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NFT Architecture, is it changing our profession?

Have you heard about NFTs lately and how they're changing the art world? If you have, it means that you're following the right 'how to become a billionaire' pages on
Instagram, if you haven't, don't worry, we will cover it ALL in this article.
Let us have a look at this picture:

Pak’s The Switch (2021) Courtesy of Sotheby’s and Pak.
Although this might look like a photo that an architecture student took in the middle of an all-nighter, this picture was sold for $1.4 Million. And believe it or not, as you are reading now, thousands and thousands of items are sold digital format (photos, videos, audio...) are sold all around the world. Wait a second, digital format means that the item can be copied, and replicated infinitely. The first question that comes in mind is:

HOW DOES THIS HAVE ANY VALUE?

Other than its artform, what makes a Picasso a Picasso is its uniqueness, and only one person can own it. If you're laying down on a couch in your fancy house, looking at a Picasso, you're pretty much sure that no one else owns the same piece, and this is what makes you brag and say : "This isn't just any Picasso, this is MY Picasso!"

Well, recently, the thing that makes you say: "This isn't just a picture, this is MY digital art" is something called: NFT (non-fungible tokens). The image can be replicated and sent to your loved ones via Whatsapp, but the token of the picture can not: There's only one. This token however, can be sold, and passed on to other people, in order to own the item, and even control its diffusion rights.

People jumped on the hype train, and started collecting NFTs like the world depends on it. It is no surprise that this  revolution of the art world happened during the covid-19 pandemic, a parallel universe was created and art deals are now easier than ever.

Rarible.com and Opensea.io are websites/markets where users can post, what they judge as art, and sell it as an NFT. All types of visual art are displayed, and just for your attention -in 2021- famous memes are considered as art. Yes, memes might not be free someday and meme reserve might have an impact on the national currency.

SuperRare is a more selective NFT market, it is the digital equivalent of real art galleries, NFT art is actually curated on that platform.

WILL NFTS DISRUPT THE ART MARKET?

In the context of the art market, authenticity and ownership was always a problem. Well, NFTs partly solved this as each work will have one owner or at most a limited number of owners which made digital art collectable, exactly like non-digital artworks. Anyhow, NFTs are nothing less than a "glitch in the matrix". There's no place for the good or bad debate, only our imagination hold the answers.

Cool cat #2724, owned by OfficialMikeTyson
This cool cat picture was sold as an NFT for thousands of dollars to Mike Tyson, who immediately changed his profile picture to show-off and blow his own trumpet. Exactly like owning a Picasso ! Add to this that over the last 30 days, $8.35 million in sales volume has been made in Cool Cats including 2,765 buyers.
Bored Ape, owned by StpehenCurry

This bored Ape looks like he has been kicked out of the zoo because of his zombie eyes, and weird tuxedo. However, It is part of a collection of 10,000 Bored apes generated by an algorithm. It was sold for $180,000 for 3 times NBA Champion Stephen Curry, and you guessed it right: He also changed his profile picture to his bored Ape, immediately. This is exactly what a glitch in the matrix is. All of a sudden, people have found another reason to spend money, carelessly which lead to a redefinition of what art is, since caring about who the artist is, and with absolute absence of any form of artistry. Some artists saw this as an opportunity to put their work on sale as an NFT, some others think that this is the definition of : non-sense

Because of the close and evident relationship between art and architecture, architects found a way to participate in this modern art fest. Is Architecture about to change drastically like the art world did? Will the process of architectural design take a hit?

Let's take a look at this picture:


The Mars House, courtesy Krista Kim 

At first, this might look like someone is experimenting with a new rendering software, but those are pictures of the first digital house sold online. The Mars House is designed by artist Krista Kim. And whether or not this house will be transposed in a physical environment someday; it was sold as an NFT for $500,000. Those are 3D renders, and this is a an artistic concept of a house in mars and this is not a pipe.
That transaction made room for something called: NFT architecture; that means that the mars house weren't sold as 3D images only, or a project presentation. It was sold as form of art that's free from the barriers set by the materiel world. Architects need a piece of land in order to build, NFTs gave architects another plot, except this time it's digital. One could only imagine the profession reaching other levels by creating impossible structures in different possibilities of contexts.
The process of NFT Architectural Design -if there is one- is different than architectural offices; or should I say:

  WHAT'S THE PROCESS OF ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN ANYWAY?

Kim started sketching her digital home (The Mars House) during the confinement period on her Ipad (procreate app), and she then hired an architect to render her sketches onto Unreal Engine - a gaming creation software - and posted the final creation on Instagram. She, then, listed her work as an NFT on SuperRare where she sold it, in no time. This made other architects/Designers seize the opportunity architecture out of the "norms".
Mari K, Emiris, 2021, Unique NFT
Karisman, Rejuvenation, 2021, Unique NFT
NFT architecture is built on abstract foundations, It is created in the border line of what is real, and what is imagined. Some architects are persuade that NFT market is just another great way to make money, and some feel that there are more strategic and innovative ways to monetize the skill set of architects than trying to find new ways other than a "corrupted place"...
NFT architecture's potential is not fully discovered yet. This could be the next creative renaissance or just another episode of "Black Mirror".


WRITTEN BY MOUAD OUARDASSI


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