Dewan Architects + Engineers imagine Dubai’s first dedicated thought space and Metaverse design research lab for global architects, designers, and project managers. Although the Metaverse is still very much in its infancy, its growth and importance can be seen with the rising number of architects/firms investing in the same. Applications to realize the full potential of this alternative digital world are being developed and evolved at a rapid pace. UAE-based firms such as 4SPACE, Roar Design and more have started selling their own NFTs while also involving in projects that explore the virtual landscape.
Powered by the motivation to explore this dynamic field, Dewan Architects set up MAD or Metaverse Architecture Department. The firm had previously launched Babel 4.0, the first architectural NFT from the Middle East. The new department will act as a design research lab for everything related to Metaverse, the internet of things (IoT), augmented reality (AR), and artificial intelligence (AI).
MAD about the Metaverse
MAD will be an independent, stand-alone body of Dewan forming a think-tank and a design team committed to forging partnerships with digital creators, software firms, Metaverse developers, universities, Metaverse architects, and other related entities. The think-tank is where team members and external partners can share information and harness knowledge. Ammar Al Assam, CEO of Dewan Architects along with Mohammed Adib, Chief Design Officer, will lead the committee of Dewan specialists and external advisors. The team will share their findings and results on the Babel 4.0 platform for the rest of the industry’s consumption.
The architects and engineers at Dewan created the dedicated department as a space to research, experiment, and develop skills to operate in the Metaverse domain. “The Metaverse is a testing and investigation platform for architects, we need to use it to advance the sensorial experiences that are then used in the real world,” says Adib.
Collaboration and Metaverse’s real-life implications
Interestingly, the internet of things (IoT), augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI), and the Metaverse are all slowly but surely becoming critical elements of good performance-based and environmentally-responsive design.
One of the main aims of MAD is to create and improve experiences by building Metaverse spaces as close to reality as possible to discover real-life immersive applications in the Metaverse. Adib outlined the design capabilities of Metaverse and how it can be used to create a human-centric design. “Designing in the Metaverse is controlled, where the user journey is almost set by the designer, this can be very useful when designing in the real world as it centres more on the use rather on the aesthetics which in my opinion is one of the most important parameters of a successful building.”
For this purpose, the firm is looking to collaborate with internal and external experts to focus on the domain. The steering committee will choose the core team carefully based on individual abilities and core knowledge to ensure a cohesive and creative culture. “All input is welcome and the MAD door will always be open for this, Babel is the portal for this as well as many direct contacts that are ongoing currently,” says Adib. Additionally, the Young Dewanees program was launched as an integral part of MAD, to foster exploration and sharing of ideas.
As of now, Dewan has already purchased land within the Metaverse and they plan to ‘build’ an exact replica of their Dubai office within this sphere.