FRAME: Metaverse & Architecture

April 23, 2024
Matthias Hollwich



Matthias Hollwich, founding principal at HWKN Architecture, argues that architects should be designing in the metaverse to not only embrace new technologies, but to experiment and explore the way their designs impact the physical world. ‘Digital tools are poised to revolutionize how we plan, experience and manage buildings, ultimately transforming the architectural landscape.’ At HWKN, designing in the metaverse is a way to experiment with experience-driven architecture.


The firm is also creating schemes using AI tools such as ChatGPT, Midjourney and Dall·E to optimize designs, quickly develop concepts and create more engaging and sustainable buildings. ‘In front of us is the pure potential for designing a more community-driven, sociable and efficient built environment for people across the globe,’ says Hollwich. That’s because the metaverse acts as a creative hub where like-minded people can collaborate and form virtual communities, similar to many popular online games such as Roblox and Minecraft. Here, designers can work together despite their geographic location, and all feed into a shared 3D model in real-time. The metaverse can also promote sustainability, as creatives can carefully test the viability of ideas in digital environments before committing to building anything in the real world. This, in turn, minimizes waste and resource exhaustion.